Ebola centres overflow as Sierra Leone steps up fight

December 18, 2014 | By | Reply More

Dec 18, – Ebola centres in Sierra Leone overflowed on Wednesday as health workers combed the streets of the capital Freetown for patients, after the government launched a major operation to contain the epidemic in West Africa’s worst-hit country.

hromedia Ebola centres overflow as Sierra Leone steps up fight health and fitness1President Ernest Bai Koroma said on national television that travel between all parts of the country had been restricted as part of “Operation Western Area Surge”, and public gatherings would be strictly controlled in the run-up to Christmas.

In the Devil Hole neighbourhood just outside Freetown, Ebola surveillance officers questioned Ibrahim Kamara as he sat in a discarded vehicle tyre, his eyes glassy and his breath coming in gasps.

“Is the body weak?” a surveillance officer shouted. Kamara, 31, nodded despondently while onlookers gathered round.

“Vomiting?” the officer asked. Kamara nodded again.

Kamara’s wife, Adama, said a neighbour had died on Saturday from Ebola-like symptoms. When they had tried to take a taxi to hospital, the driver made them get out when he discovered her husband was ill.

The surveillance officers wrote down the Kamaras’ address and the names of five family members in their household, before calling an ambulance.

Such street-by-street searches form a key part of a month-long push by the government, a British task force and international groups in the populous west of Sierra Leone, where the epidemic is raging. Their aim is to score a breakthrough against the disease within four to six weeks.

Sierra Leone, neighbouring Guinea and Liberia are at the heart of the world’s worst recorded outbreak of Ebola. Rates of infection are rising fastest in Sierra Leone, which now accounts for more than half of the 18,603 confirmed cases of the virus.

The death toll from the epidemic has risen to 6,915 as of Dec. 14, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, adding that the increase cases in Sierra Leone appeared to have slowed, although 327 new cases were confirmed there in the past week.

Shortages of resources, strikes by unpaid healthcare workers and logistical challenges have dogged the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Press journalist for HRO media – Dr. Carlos reports.

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Category: Health and Fitness

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