Via the Facebook page of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone:
Ebola outbreak update: As of today, 23 August 2014, we have a total of 236 patients who have survived Ebola Virus Disease and subsequently discharged.
The total number of new confirmed cases for today is 56: Kailahun 6, Kenema 13; Bombali 6; Tonkolili 2; Port Loko 14; Pujehun 1; Bo 6; Moyamba 1 and Western Area 10 The total number of cumulative confirmed deaths is 333 and cumulative number of confirmed cases is 881 with Kailahun 417, Kenema 303; Kono 1; Kambia 1; Bombali 17; Tonkolili 10; Port Loko 47; Pujehun 5; Bo 33; Moyamba 9; Bonthe 1; Western Area Urban 26; Western Area Rural 11. Koinadugu district still remains the only district that has not registered confirmed cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone.
The cumulative number of probable cases is 36 and probable deaths 34 while the total cumulative number of suspected cases is 49 and suspected deaths is 8.
The United Nations high level delegation headed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Food and Nutrition, David Nabarro is currently in Freetown to assess the current Ebola Response in the country. The team visited the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where they met with the Minister of Health and Sanitation and cross-section of members of the EOC to discuss the progress the country has made so far in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the challenges.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Miatta Kargbo in her welcome address informed the delegation that though the country still faces challenges, much progress has been made especially in the epicenter districts of Kenema and Kailahun with the measures government has put in place such as declaring the state of emergency and isolating those two epicenter districts and the quarantining of homes with confirmed cases across the country. She highlighted the shortage of clinical expertise, logistics ranging from transportation to protective gears and food supplies for quarantined homes and epicenter districts as the major challenges facing the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
The delegation discussed several issues such as health workers incentives and donor support to Sierra Leone. The head of delegation, David Nabarro while addressing the meeting said that the Secretary General is concerned about the growing frustration from Sierra Leone of the slow financial support coming from the Donors to support the fight against the outbreak and went further that they have been sent by the UN Secretary General to find out why donors have been slow to release funds that they have committed to the countries affected.
He further disclosed that the World Bank has committed six million dollars to Sierra Leone that could be used to support contact tracing activities and health worker incentives and suggested some innovative ways these incentives could be paid to the health workers, such as using telephone banking system or mobile phone system available in the country.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation was however, quick to inform the delegation that the country has yet to receive the six million dollars committed by the World Bank.
The delegation is scheduled to meet with the donor community and the Non- Governmental Organizations operating in Sierra Leone later tonight and with His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma tomorrow to discuss the Ebola response in Sierra Leone.
Other members of the delegation include the Regional Director for the World Food Programme, the Regional Director of the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); the Deputy Regional Director for UNICEF and the WHO Assistant Director General for Health Safety