Via Awareness Times: Ebola Kills 65 in Pendembu, 50 Admitted. Excerpt:
Community Health Officer (CHO) for Pendembu Town, Nyuma J. Sengu has told the Awareness Times that at least sixty five people have died in June and July this year in the Upper Bambara Chiefdom of Kailahun District which has Pendembu as its headquarters.
Via telephone line, Mr. Sengu told the Awareness Times on Saturday 2nd August 2014 that the Ebola related deaths started in Jorpowahu Village, followed by Garama and finally in Pendembu Township around One-Mile. He disclosed that there is perpetual fear and stand still in the township. He said deaths have particularly inundated the Mandingo Compound in central Pendembu Town.
The CHO disclosed that as of August 2nd 2014, 37 people got their demise in the community whilst 28 died at the Ebola Center operated by Medicine Sans Frontier (MSF). He said the ones who died in the community had all been in close contact with family members prior to their deaths.
He said although these 37 people were not confirmed by laboratory tests but, according to him, they all showed suspected symptoms of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. He lamented that only 3 of the 37 were buried with medical precaution and all the others were done by relatives at the expense of their own lives.
"Some families were very reluctant to leave the remains of their deceased to medical personnel. The three we buried only gave up the corpses after receiving very strong advice" the CHO disclosed.
According to him the local authorities have now mobilized community contact tracers and they have been able to remove 18 people from hiding between August 1st and 2nd. He stated that the death toll increased because most of the infected persons preferred hiding rather than going to the hospital because they mistrusted the health services.
Honorable Member for Constituency 02, Kailahun District Hon. Mustapha Brima told Awareness Times that as of August 2nd 2014, “at least 50 people all from Upper Bambara Chiefdom are current admitted at the Ebola Epicenter in Kailahun”.
According to the MP, the situation became worse as most of those infected had gone into hiding than coming forward for treatment..