Via Awareness Times: “No Ebola Virus in Sierra Leone” Health Minister assures. Excerpt:
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Miatta Kargbo has announced that no confirmed case of the deadly Ebola virus has been reported by the surveillance team of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone.
She said her ministry has instituted an emergency response plan as a precautionary measure to effectively address any incidence of Ebola virus in the country. The minister made this assurance on 27th March 2014 at the weekly press briefing of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) at the ministry’s conference hall at Youyi Building in Freetown.
She reiterated that the ministry is on high alert to ensure that the virus is contained if any incidence is confirmed in the country. She said they have set up a national task force that includes officials of the ministry, World Health Organization (WHO), Office of National Security (ONS), health development partners and civil society organizations to ensure an effective coordinated response in case the virus spills over.
The minister said the Government is serious about the threat of Ebola and is working relentlessly on a number of issues to ensure that the virus does not spill over from Guinea where it is now evident. She went on to say Sierra Leone’s health ministry, WHO and ONS are working with their Guinean counterparts to concertedly strengthen efforts to avert the spread of the disease.
Madam Kargbo also informed to newsmen that her ministry has mounted a robust community sensitization campaign about the need to be cautious about the contagious disease and to be aware about the type of meat they eat, especially the bat meat which is the main carrier of the virus.
Also speaking at the press briefing, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Brima Kargbo reiterated that no incidence of the disease has been confirmed by their surveillance team on sites. He said all the suspected cases of Ebola have been tested negative and assured that a competent surveillance team has its ears on the ground and is prepared to address any reported case.
He said Ebola is a highly infectious disease with no specific cure but whose preventive measures include, to promptly report any suspected case to the nearest health facilities. Dr. Kargbo admonished his audience not to eat animals found dead, especially monkeys, chimpanzees and bats.