Sierra Leone: WHO hails S/Leone for stopping Ebola

Freetown, Sierra Leone (PANA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday declared that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone.

According to the WHO, 42 days, that is two Ebola virus incubation cycles, have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test.

"Since Sierra Leone recorded the first Ebola case in May 2014, a total number of 8,704 people were infected and 3,589 have died, 221 of them healthcare workers, all of whom we remember on this day,” said Dr Anders Nordström, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.

WHO said the country now enters a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance which will run until 5 Feb. 2016, and that the global health body will continue to support Sierra Leone during this period. This new phase is critical for ensuring early detection of any possible new cases of Ebola virus disease.

''The World Health Organization commends the Government of Sierra Leone and her people on achieving this significant milestone in the country’s fight against Ebola. Sierra Leone achieved this milestone through tremendous hard work and commitment while battling the most unprecedented Ebola virus disease outbreak in human history.

''The strong leadership of the Sierra Leone Government, working with partners from around the globe, mobilized the necessary expertise needed to contain the outbreak. Sierra Leone experienced a massive rise in cases in September and October 2014 which was curbed by putting in place treatment facilities, setting up safe and dignified burial teams and working with communities to identify and stop Ebola,'' the UN agency said.

WHO said the Ebola outbreak had decimated families, the health system, the economy and social structures.

''All need to recover. It has also left an estimated 4,000 survivors who have ongoing health problems who need medical care and social support.

''WHO will maintain an enhanced staff presence in Sierra Leone during this transition from outbreak control, to enhanced vigilance, to the recovery of essential health services,'' Dr. Nordström said.
-0- PANA SEG 7Nov2015

07 november 2015 12:23:56

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