WHO Officially Announced : Sierra Leone Free of Ebola
World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared that Sierra Leone free of Ebola. Sierra Leone free of Ebola was announced on last Saturday, November 7th 2015 by WHO’s country director, Anders Nordström. Since 18 months ago, nearly 4,000 people died because of Ebola virus. Sierra Leone first Ebola case was recorded on May 2014, with total number of 8,704 people were infected and 221 of them are healthcare workers.
A country must go 42 days – equal to two 21-day incubation periods – without an Ebola case in order for WHO to declare it free of Ebola transmission. Due to the Sierra Leone’s last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged on September 25th 2015 after two consecutive negative test results, it shows that the country have passed the 42 days, and confirmed by WHO that Sierra Leone free of Ebola.
End of Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone is the moment that has been waiting for by the country’s citizen. To celebrate this good news, thousands of people took to the streets of Freetown, the capital Sierra Leone. Freetown was transformed into a giant carnival, where cheers erupted and people danced in the streets to express their happiness. There were waves of celebrations, and then silence as names of some of the dead were beamed on to a screen. Speech by Yusuf Kamara, a healthcare worker who lost 16 members of his family and survived the disease himself, brought tears and a standing ovation. As he said :
“For us, Ebola is not over. We need your help to treat the many, many health problems we still suffer from. And remember those who died at the hands of Ebola, and especially the children who have been affected by this outbreak,”
Meanwhile, Ebola cases are still being reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone’s neighbor country. In order to keep their citizen free from Ebola, the country will take heightened security and health screening measures at their shared border.