UPDATED: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 02:14 PM
President Ernest Bai Koroma Tuesday 7 April hosted the Chair of the United Nations Peace Building Commission Ambassador Olof Skoog and delegation during a courtesy at State House, Freetown.
As part of his familiarization tour to the three most affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone was to have a feel of the impact of the epidemic on the affected countries and how the commission can help in addressing some of the challenges therein.
President Koroma stated that the outbreak has distracted the development trajectory of the country while informing the UN Envoy about the economic progress that was taking place in the country prior to the outbreak. As the number of confirmed cases is taking a significant downward trend, President Koroma said that the focus was now to getting and staying at zero for forty-two days with intensified social mobilization that will be cascaded in affected communities and districts.
I was there when our clinician collapsed at the Port Loko Government Hospital in Sierra Leone a few weeks ago. And I was nearby when we were informed soon after that a Sierra Leonean colleague was suspected of having Ebola. As head of the medical team in Port Loko for Partners in Health, a global health nonprofit, I worked alongside these two clinicians.
When our American colleague fell ill, he was initially transferred to Kerry Town, a first-class Ebola treatment center run by the British Defense Ministry, and from there flown to the National Institutes of Health clinical center in Bethesda, Maryland. When our Sierra Leonean colleague, an employee of the Ministry of Health, fell ill, we helped secure his admission to the same British-run treatment facility—the best option available to Sierra Leonean health care workers.
KENEMA, Sierra Leone (Reuters) - Sierra Leone said on Tuesday that it had mistakenly reported an Ebola positive case in Kailahun, a former hotspot for the virus which has not seen a case for nearly four months.
A nine-month-old baby was pronounced Ebola positive last week but was later found to have died from other causes, according to National Ebola Response Centre spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis.
He blamed the mistake on a "lapse" by health officials who took the blood sample from the corpse.
Police in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone raided a funeral and arrested 13 people suspected of organising an unsafe burial, risking spreading the disease, officers said on Tuesday.
Police superintendent Da Samah said "heavily-armed" police arrived just in time to stop a 50-year-old man being interred on the outskirts of Freetown after they were tipped off about the ceremony.
"We stopped the burial and we have put out an alert for an ambulance which eyewitnesses said brought the corpse to the cemetery," he told AFP.
I arrived in Berlin, Germany few hours ago after 9 hectic but very successful weeks in Kenema, eastern Sierra Leone. We now know that the war on Ebola is winnable but many aspects of it remain unfair and unbearable for the ordinary citizens. The most notorious one, for example, is the lockdown/stay-at-home method used by the central government as a means of cubing the virus.
I spent the last three days lockdown at YAD’s newly established Multipurpose Youth Resource Centre, 16 Duawoh Street in central Kenema. The exercise forced every innocent citizen – including farmers in the far forests, artisanal workers in city slums and business women/men in the crowded markets, to stay home awaiting nothing but a cube of soap and words of advice against Ebola. Many people waited in vain.
Freetown - Sierra Leone's eastern district of Kailahun, once a hotbed of Ebola, has recorded its first case in nearly four months, threatening progress made to stamp out the disease, officials say.
A 9-month-old boy tested positive for Ebola after dying in Kailahun, the district on Guinea's border that recorded Sierra Leone's first Ebola case last May and was for months the epicentre of the crisis.
Paolo Conteh, Sierra Leone’s defence minister and head of the country’s National Ebola Response Centre, was an athlete who set a 400-metres national record in 1982 that remains unbeaten to this day. These days, Mr. Conteh uses a sporting analogy to explain the fight against the Ebola virus disease, which has resulted in more than 22,000 infections and over 9,000 deaths in the three most affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
At a discussion forum in the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown, in January, the moderator asked Mr. Conteh to explain the state of Ebola then.
“Let’s put it this way,” the former sprinter began. “We are running a 400m race and we have just 20m to go. Already, your legs are tiring and you are gasping for breath. Other runners are coming fast and are about to overtake you. But you must finish the race strong. At that stage, you dig deeper and draw on your last reserves of energy. You must do all you can to breast the victory tape.”
Although there were some chuckles in the audience that included 80 Ebola social mobilizers, who are in communities sensitizing people on Ebola, the message was clear: the race against Ebola cannot be won unless there is a strong, final push.
The tiny village of Kontadubala in Kambia District, Sierra Leone, may seem like a postcard of idyllic country life, but the Ebola crisis has shed a light on longstanding problems such as the lack of water and sanitation.