Sierra Leone, Liberia Risk Ebola-like Outbreaks From Poor Sanitation

Sierra Leone and Liberia risk new deadly epidemics akin to the impact of the Ebola virus due to lack of clean water and hygienic conditions in most homes, an NGO warned Tuesday.

WaterAid said the two provisions were the “first line of defence” against infectious diseases but needed to be put into place before outbreaks began.

In Sierra Leone, more than 37 percent of people do not have access to clean water, the British-based group said in a statement. In Liberia, the figure is 24.5 percent.

When it comes to basic sanitation, WaterAid said the figures were even higher — 86.7 percent of people in Sierra Leone and just over 83 percent in Liberia live without access to it.

“The terrible suffering of the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia during the Ebola crisis is at high risk of being repeated in another disease epidemic if we do not see action to improve water, sanitation and hygiene practices in our communities, schools and healthcare facilities,” WaterAid’s Joe Lambongang said in the statement.

“These basic provisions are the first line of defence against infectious diseases including Ebola.

“To ask healthcare professionals to battle an epidemic without clean water, safe toilets and somewhere to wash their hands is unrealistic and needlessly puts lives at risk,” he added.

Read More:

Kidnapping: FG Meets With Delegation From Sierra Leone

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has met with a high-powered delegation from Sierra Leone led by Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone.

The meeting was not unconnected with the recent abduction and rescue of the senior Sierra Leonian diplomat who was kidnapped on the Abuja – Kaduna highway on 30 June 2016.
The meeting also afforded both countries to discuss other issues, including matters of bilateral interest.

The Ministers expressed their commitment to revive the Nigeria/Sierra Leone Joint Commission with a view to strengthening bilateral relations between their two countries.

The Ministers exchanged views on global affairs including, notably, the reform of the United Nations Security Council which will be on the agenda of the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union taking place in Kigali, Rwanda from 10 – 18 July 2016.

 The Ministers took note of the current state of affairs in the Security Council reform effort and the multi-dimensional challenges in the process. They underscored the need for greater solidarity among African countries in the reform effort.

The meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere which reflects the excellent longstanding relations between Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Credit: Nation

Sierra Leone Confirms Second Ebola Case

Sierra Leone confirmed a new case of Ebola on Wednesday, its second in less than a week, marking a further setback in efforts to end a two-year West African epidemic that has killed more than 11,300 people.

Health ministry spokesman, Sidi Yahyah Tunis, described the new patient as a 38-year-old woman, a relative who had helped care for the earlier victim Mariatu Jalloh.

Reuters reported that Jalloh died on January 12, and tested positive for Ebola posthumously.

Credit: Nation

Sierra Leone Ebola Victim Exposed 27 Others To Disease

A woman who died of Ebola this week in Sierra Leone potentially exposed at least 27 other people to the disease, an aid agency reported.

This has raised the possibility of further transmission as a regional epidemic appeared nearly over.

The victim, a 22-year-old female student from Tonkolili District named Mariatu Jalloh, became ill at the beginning of the year and died on Jan. 12 while living in a house with 22 people.

She had sought medical attention at a local hospital but was treated as an outpatient

Credit: Reuters

Hundreds Quarantined For Ebola In Sierra Leone

Health authorities quarantined hundreds of people in northern Sierra Leone on Monday after a 16-year-old girl died of Ebola in an apparent case of sexual transmission, the first confirmed death from the virus in the district for nearly six months.

Sierra Leone celebrated last month when it discharged the last remaining Ebola patient from its treatment centres.

But since then new cases have erupted, leaving two dead and five people in treatment, Reuters reported.

Liberia was declared Ebola-free this month but growing evidence that the virus may survive longer than previously thought in sperm has raised fears of fresh outbreaks.

The teenage girl, Kadiatu Thullah, died on Sunday at the International Medical Corps Ebola treatment unit, authorities said.

Read More: thenationonlineng

Ebola Returns To Sierra Leone’s Freetown

Sierra Leone has announced the return of Ebola to its capital Freetown, dashing hopes that health authorities in the densely-populated city of 1.2 million had beaten the deadly outbreak.

The government’s National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) told AFP late on Tuesday three cases had emerged in the east-end slum of Magazine Wharf — three weeks after the last known infections in the capital.

Health officials said six people have been under observation since the first of the new cases — a casual labourer — tested positive on June 17.

Authorities are concerned that the case could lead to a mini-outbreak in the overcrowded fishing community, which has poor sanitation and is regularly hit by outbreaks of malaria and cholera.

Read Morevanguardngr

Ebola Volunteers Return With Sad Tales Of Maltreatment By AU Officials, Nigerian Govt.

Nigerians who volunteered to help fight the deadly Ebola disease in Sierra Leone and Liberia, returned home a fortnight ago, after spending about six months on the frontline against a virus that ravaged several countries last year, killing over 20,000.

The volunteers returned alive and well, although they are yet to complete an expected 21-day quarantine period.

But they have sad tales of deprivation and maltreatment, and accuse officials of the Nigerian government and the African Union of stealing from them while they risked their lives.

On Wednesday, some of the volunteers were locked in a hotel in Abuja where they had camped since returning to Nigeria, after days of bickering with health ministry officials.

PREMIUM TIMES’ investigation, interviews with officials of the Nigerian government and the AU, and several volunteers since their arrival in Abuja, show a programme that was beset by crisis, poor management and fraud, worse than the hotel scandal.

“I have now confirmed that serving or representing Nigeria is a waste of time as the country treats those who have done her proud shabbily,” said Oladimeji Adepoju, a medical doctor volunteer.

Mr. Adepoju and 197 other Nigerian volunteers travelled to the two West African countries in December, to help stem the tide of Ebola. Their ordeal began even before they departed Nigeria.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Ebola Cases On The Increase In Sierra Leone And Guinea – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO), confirmed on Tuesday that the Ebola virus is still raging in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Bruce Aylward, WHO Special Representative for Ebola in Geneva, told a technical briefing attended by health ministers that there were 36 new cases in the past week, which is four times as many cases as the week before.

Aylward said the findings were an indication that the virus would not go quietly and it would take painstaking efforts.

Ebola Workers In Sierra Leone Dump Bodies

Burial workers in Sierra Leone have dumped bodies in the street outside a hospital in protest at authorities’ failure to pay bonuses for handling Ebola victims.

Residents said up to 15 corpses had been abandoned in the eastern town of Kenema, three of them at a hospital entrance to stop people entering. The head of the district Ebola Response Team, Abdul Wahab Wan, said on Tuesday that the bodies included those of two babies.

A spokesman for the striking workers, who asked not to be identified, said they had not been paid their weekly hazard allowance for seven weeks.

Authorities acknowledged the money had not been paid but said that all the striking members of the Ebola Burial Team would be dismissed.

“Displaying corpses in a very, very inhumane manner is completely unacceptable,” said Sidi Yahya Tunis, the spokesman for the National Ebola Response Centre.

He added that the central government had paid the money to the district health management team.

“Somebody somewhere needs to be investigated (to find out) where these monies have been going,” he told Reuters news agency.

Healthcare workers have repeatedly gone on strike in Liberia and Sierra Leone over pay and dangerous working conditions. Two weeks ago, workers walked off the job at a clinic in Bo in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone has become the biggest hotspot in the West African Ebola epidemic, which has killed nearly 5,500 people since March.

The outbreak appears to be coming under control in neighbouring Liberia and Guinea, but infection rates have accelerated in Sierra Leone.

Source – Punch NG

Surgeon with Ebola to Arrive US for Treatment

A surgeon from Sierra Leone and a permanent resident of the United States who contracted Ebola while working in West Africa will be flown to the United States to receive treatment for the deadly virus, according to a government official.

Dr. Martin Salia is expected to arrive in the United States on Saturday and will receive treatment at Nebraska Medical Center, the official told ABC News today.

It is unclear how he contracted Ebola, but the official said he was in Sierra Leone at the time.

Credit: Good America

Ebola Spreads Through Red Cross Vaccine – Ghana Nurse

A nurse from Ghana is passionate in “exposing” the truth about the deadly Ebola virus. He or she claims the Red Cross is responsible in bringing the virus to four West African countries for four specific reasons with the grand goal of bringing U.S. troops on boots in Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

According to the nurse, U.S. wants to stop the protests conducted by the diamond miners in Sierra Leone. The miners were allegedly protesting against “cheap slave labour forever.” The region is said to be the “world’s largest supplier of diamonds.” An Ebola outbreak is the most valid reason for U.S. to send in its troops, the nurse alleged.

Essentially, the nurse from Ghana claims that the very vaccine injected to people to prevent the spread of the virus is in reality the means of spreading the disease. And the whole scheme is being orchestrated by the U.S. – the Red Cross its “accomplice” – to cover up its goal of taking over the diamonds of Sierra Leone and the prosperous Nigerian oil.

Read More on:

Lagos State Sending Ebola Medics To Sierra Leone, Says Raji Fashola

The Lagos State Government on Sunday said it was finalising arrangements to deploy some health workers who had helped in the containment of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the state to Sierra Leone .

Governor Babatunde Fashola, made the announcement in Ikeja while speaking at a programme to commemorate the 2,700 Days of his administration in office.

The governor said the health workers were to replicate the state`s virus containment strategies in Sierra-leone with a view to assisting the Ebola-hit country overcome the health crisis.

WHO- West Africa Ebola outbreak deaths exceed 4,000

World Health Organization’s most recent report provides that the number of people killed in the Ebola outbreak has risen above 4,000.

Latest figures shows there have been 8,376 cases and 4,024 deaths in the worst-affected West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The news comes as Liberian MPs refused to grant the president additional powers to deal with the Ebola crisis. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has already declared a state of emergency that allows her to impose quarantines.


Ebola: Liberia Cancels Nationwide Elections

Ebola-hit Liberia has suspended nationwide elections in the latest measure to combat an epidemic which has shut down society in three west African nations, restricting travel and forcing the cancellation of public events.

 Almost three million voters had been due to take part in Senate polls on Tuesday but organizers said there was no way a “mass movement, deployment and gathering of people” could go ahead without endangering lives.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was exercising powers under a state of emergency announced in August “to suspend… any and all rights ordinarily exercised, enjoyed and guaranteed to citizens,” the foreign office said in a statement issued late Wednesday, quoting a presidential proclamation.

Liberia, which has seen more than half of the almost 4,000 deaths so far in the outbreak ravaging west Africa, had been due to elect half of its legislative upper chamber.

The election commission said in a statement it had recommended the postponement because it could not conduct “a free, fair, transparent and credible election” because of the epidemic.

The elections are the latest casualty of an epidemic which has forced Liberia and neighbouring Sierra Leone and Guinea to announce a nationwide state of emergency.

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone Launches School by Radio

Sierra Leone on Tuesday launched an ambitious schooling effort for more than a million children denied their education due to the Ebola epidemic, saying lessons would be delivered via radio.

Classes in a variety of subjects will be broadcast for four hours, six days a week, on 41 radio stations and the country’s sole TV channel, the government announced.

“The plan is to provide a suitable option for our school-going population as the entire school system has been disrupted since the outbreak of the Ebola disease,” said Education Minister Minkailu Bah.

Schools have been closed since the government announced a state of emergency in July in response to an epidemic which has killed 3,500 people in west Africa, more than 600 of them in Sierra Leone.

More than two million of its population of 5.7 million are aged between three and 17, although in reality the secondary school attendance rate is less than 40 percent for both boys and girls.

Bah also admitted that reaching many of the nation’s schoolchildren would be difficult in a country where radio ownership is around 25 percent and fewer than two percent have access to a television.

“As things now are we cannot expect schools to reopen until early 2015,” said Sylvester Meheaux, of the Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools that is helping the government run the classes.

“In the meantime, we are worried some children would end up being dropouts, pregnant and otherwise. These developments are a major concern for us in the educational sector.”

Public reaction to the announcement — which did not include details of how the scheme would be funded — has been mixed.

“This is not the type of tuition we used to know for our children, but we have little option,” said Sam Mbayo, a retired clerk from the eastern district of Kailahun.

“Any means to educate our children rather than leaving them idle is welcome. Otherwise we are going to have a generation of illiterates.”

Fatima Sheriff, a single mother from Freetown, said she was worried in particular about the damage the closures of schools was doing to the prospects of young girls.

“For many of them this is the end of their educational dreams as the choice of the going into prostituion and other vices loom,” she said.

Manuel Fontaine, the regional director of UN children’s fund (UNICEF) which is supporting the initiative, said the radio classes would be focussed on teaching children “life skills” and maintaining their contact with the outside world.

But, he added, it was important that schools reopened as soon as possible, “partly because there is a problem of long-term damage in children who have no education, and because there is a risk that children will drop out of school, of education in general”.

Bah, the education minister, said Sierra Leone authorities would “be devising other means (of) accommodating the hard-to-reach areas” without access to radios.

“We are quite aware that not all children will benefit from this method of teaching, but we are doing our best to reach as many children as possible”, he said.

David Cameron to Hold Emergency Ebola Talks

Prime Minister David Cameron will hold an emergency Cobra committee meeting Wednesday on how to coordinate the country’s response to the Ebola outbreak after Britain pledged troops to help combat the virus in West Africa.

Dozens of British military personnel are due to fly to Sierra Leone next week to help build medical facilities to tackle the epidemic, the Ministry of Defence said Tuesday.

The Department of Health said there were no plans to introduce entry screening in Britain for Ebola, after the United States said it planned to increase checks at airports.

In a statement, the prime minister’s office said Cameron had spoken to President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone to discuss the situation.

“The president said the situation continued to be very serious and they were increasing their response, with a need to train more medical staff, have a better system for servicing treatment centres and improve the burial process,” the statement said.

“The prime minister said the UK would continue to do all it could to support their efforts.”

Around 100 British troops are expected to travel to Sierra Leone to provide assistance, including building a 12-bed treatment unit.

“The Ebola virus represents a global threat to public health and we will not stand idly by,” Britain’s minister for the armed forces Mark Francois said as he visited troops preparing for their mission at a training facility at Strensall barracks, York.

There are already about 40 military personnel in Sierra Leone.

Britain has pledged to provide infrastructure for 700 beds and training for medical staff.

Sierra Leone may Observe Another 3 Days Lockdown

Sierra Leone is considering another nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of Ebola, after a largely successful one in which teams visited more than 1 million households to hand out information on the disease and check for sick people, the president said Tuesday.

President Ernest Bai Koroma said on local radio Tuesday that he was “mainly satisfied with the whole process, as it has helped reaching more homes and bringing to the fore many sick people and corpses.”

Authorities are expected to give tallies later in the day. Koroma said it would be up to the task force coordinating the Ebola response to recommend another lockdown, and, if it did, he would consider repeating the exercise.

The three-day lockdown is believed to be the most dramatic disease-control measure taken since the plague was sweeping Europe in the Middle Ages.

3 Days Ebola Curfew in Sierra Leone Successful?


Sierra Leonian authorities have declared the three days lock down bid to contain Ebola outbreak successful.

Authorities also said that the curfew which ended Sunday GMT will not be extended.

Under the 3 days lock down plan, no one was allowed to leave their homes except volunteers who moved from door-to-door, educating people on the deadly virus.

More than 75% of the targeted 1.5 million households were contacted, according to the Health Ministry.

“The EOC (Emergency Operations Center) has officially ended the three day stay at home, but the Social Mobilization exercise will continue in those communities that have been identified as hot spots across the country,” it said in a statement.

Sierra Leone has been one of the countries worst affected by the outbreaks, with more than 550 victims among the 2,600 deaths so far recorded.


Ebola: Sierra Leone Plans 3Days Nationwide Lockdown

Ebola MSF Military

Sierra Leone plans a three-day nationwide lockdown in an effort to fight the Ebola outbreak that has killed hundreds.

This implies that people will not be allowed to leave their homes for three days under the plan, set to start September 19. The lockdown is being billed as a predominantly social campaign rather than a medical one, in which volunteers will go door-to-door to talk to people.

Alhaji Alpha Kanu, Sierra Leone’s minister of information and communication said, “We believe this the best way for now to identify those who are sick and remove them from those who are well.”

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) however says that a proposed nation-wide lockdown in Sierra Leone will not help control the spread of the Ebola virus.

MSF said on Saturday that, “It has been our experience that lockdowns and quarantines do not help control Ebola as they end up driving people underground and jeopardizing the trust between people and health providers.”


Ebola: 7 Deaths & 18 Cases in Nigeria


Nigeria now has 18 Ebola cases, after a fourth case was found in Port Harcourt, the health minister said on Wednesday.

The Port Harcourt carrier skipped quarantine and traveled to Port Harcourt, bringing the disease there. A doctor died in the oil city last week. Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said a patient he had treated had also now died.A total of 255 people were under surveillance in Port Harcourt, while 41 were in Lagos.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has said on Wednesday, that more than 1,900 people have died with a total of more than 3,500 people have been infected by the Ebola virus in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the first documented cases in December.

Ebola- Sierra Leone Fires Health Minister


Killing over 400 people in West Africa, the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone lands Sierra Leonian health minister, Miatta Kargbo in big trouble.

The minister was fired on Friday because of her inability to manage the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.

 Ernest Bai Koroma, the Sierra Leonian President, dismissed his Health Minister Miatta Kargbo over her handling of the disease within the country’s region.

According to a released presidential statement confirming reasons behind her removal from office which was done “to create a conducive environment for efficient and effective handling of the Ebola outbreak”. Kargbo  will also be replaced by her deputy Dr Abubakarr Fofanah.