Sierra Leone celebrates end of ebola epidemic

Nov 11, 2015 Sierra Leone was recently declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization, after going 42 days with no new case.

The West African nation was official granted the Ebola-free status in a ceremony that was attended by President Ernest Bai Koroma and World Health Organization representative Anders Nordstrom.

Speaking during the event, President Ernest Bai Koroma said:

“Today Sierra Leone marks the end of the Ebola outbreak. We give thanks to almighty God, and I stand here humbled by the dedication of the Ebola response workers whose heroism is without parallel in the history of our country,”

The declaration ushered the country into a 90-day period of surveillance with support from W.H.O.

According to the World Health Organization, the monitoring phase was critical to ensure early detection of any possible new cases.

President Koroma went on to say:

“We declared a state of emergency because the very existence of this country was at stake. Today I have commenced discussions with the leadership of parliament to end the state of emergency. But we should never lower our guard. I fully endorse the WHO recommendations for enhanced surveillance to continue in Sierra Leone for the next 90 days,”

Going by data from the World Health Organization, the virus has killed more than 11,300 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since its outbreak in March 2014.

Also speaking at the event, W.H.O’s representative Anders Nordstrom said:

“The Ebola outbreak has severely affected people, families, the health system, the economy and self-restructures all need to recover and to heal. WHO is confident that the government of Sierra Leone together with its national and international partners will use this foundation now in place — dedicated and trained health workers, systems for alert and information management, community engagement and care for people — to deal now also with other key health priority problems, a drastic decline in child and maternal mortality topping that list. I thank you very much,”

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