Sierra Leone declares first Ebola Free district
A district in Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola-free, the first to be given the all-clear after 42 days with zero recorded cases of the virus. Pujehun, in the south-east of the country, was hit by Ebola in August and suffered 24 deaths from 31 cases – but it has not had a recorded case since 26 November. This means it has achieved the World Health Organization’s benchmark for Ebola-free status.
As the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus disease continues across the Country, residents within the Pujehun District will today commemorate their 42 days un-interrupted run without recording any new Ebola infection due to ‘coordinating team work’ according to the District Council Chairman Sadiq Silla.
This disclosure was made during a meeting between the various stakeholders who teamed up to eradicate the disease in the District including Council Members, the District Officer, the Assistant Inspector General of Police South, the LUC, the Military Commanding Officer, Tribal Heads, ONS, DERC Coordinator youth leader, Pujehun Women of Wanjama among others and a team of Journalists representing various media institution under the umbrella of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) at the District Council’s Hall in Pujehun Town.
According to the Council Chairman, Sadiq Silla, everyone wants to be part of the success story at this point in time when they have succeeded, but that they should bear in mind that 70% of their success was as a result of the timely and continuous support of the security sector including the Police and the Military who provided security for the holding centers, quarantine homes, check points and the border post with neighbouring Liberia.
He maintained that 20% of the success was from what they did, in their own little way, and the remaining 10% was what the Medical Practitioners did. He added though that when President Ernest Bai Koroma made his statement in relation to the outbreak of the disease in Kailahun and Kenema, though Pujehun was not included they decided to replicate the strenuous measures by closing all the doorways, activities (trade fair), mounting check points at the various entering points and also went ahead to form their District Task Force without any support from the Central Government or Non-Governmental Organizations as their aim was to ensure that the District remains Ebola free.