Sierra Leone News: Ebola: 127 Killed
Monday July 21, 2014
A total of 127 people have so far been confirmed as haven been killed by Ebola since its entry in the country in March this year.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Ebola update, ss of 18th July 2014, there are 397 confirmed Ebola cases, 92 cumulative Ebola survivors and 127 confirmed Ebola deaths while 65 patients are currently admitted at the Ebola treatment centers in Kenema and Kailahun.
To curtail the deadly virus from spreading any further, the Ministry of Health and Sanitization and the World Health Organization (WHO) have established a dedicated Ebola Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the WHO Country Office in Freetown.
The EOC is co-directed by the Minister of Health, Ms. Miata Kargbo and the WHO Representative for Sierra Leone, Dr. Jacob Mufunda and consists of leaders and partners involved in the fight against Ebola in the country.
The EOC will serve as the Sierra Leone National Central Command and Control Center for Outbreak Response activities and will be directly linked with our district health leaders and with a regional EOC established by the World Health Organization in response to the current Ebola epidemic as well as EOCs currently operating at WHO AFRO and the WHO Headquarters in Geneva.
The Center is currently focusing on the effective distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare, recruiting new nurses to reinforce those on the frontlines, as well as coordinating additional resources needed to contain the epidemic.
Consultants from the World Health Organization and the US Government are providing additional expertise to improve contact tracing and monitoring, which includes identifying individuals known to have had contact with infected persons. Contacts are monitored in order to ensure that if they do develop symptoms, they can be immediately cared for at the nearest treatment center.
It is through careful monitoring of these contacts that we can identify the symptoms of the disease early and thereby improve each individual’s chances of survival, as well as prevent the unintentional spread of the disease to the community by persons that don’t know they are infected.
Regarding the establishment of the EOC, Minister Kargbo stated “Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety of our citizens and to protect our brave health care providers serving on the frontline. Our new center of operations will serve as a War Room in our fight against Ebola and will equip us to rapidly deploy resources, manpower, and materials – a strategy that is going to put us ahead of the curve and end this epidemic.”