5 August 2014

Sierra Leone: President Koroma Inspects Ebola Treatment Facilities

Photo: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN
An employee of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) prepares to treat Ebola victims in Sierra Leone.

By way of exerting continuous control measures for the eradication of the deadly Ebola virus in the country, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma last Saturday 3rd August urged the contractor to fast-track the ongoing work on the Ebola treatment centre at Lakka.

President Koroma registered stern admonition while on a working visit at the centre situated at the Leprosy Control hospital at Lakka, to capture first hand information on progress being made at the health front in stopping the spread of the Ebola virus to the western area.

Led on conducted tour of the facility by Dr Alusine Wurie, Programme Manager Leprosy Control, President Koroma called for a standard facility at the centre, and admonished the contractor and health workers to speed up work on the much needed centre that has been long overdue.

To health workers at the centre, President Koroma raised grave concerns over the location and standard of facilities, saying; "the experience in Kenema is telling us that facilities at Lakka are not up to the task of handling Ebola cases."

He called for the replication of treatment centres among other disease control and prevention facilities in all regions of the country so as to prevent the Kenema situation from repeating itself in the western area, but health workers told President Koroma that the present location is temporal and challenging compared to those of Kailahun and Kenema which are well situated out of town.

President Koroma however expressed dismay over the snail pace of the entire process and urged the contractors to step up their efforts especially at a crucial time like this when the country is in a dire need of such facility.

Facilities currently being provided at the western area Ebola treatment centre are admission rooms/booths for severe cases, changing room for medical staff, twenty beds, warehouse, and also speedily working on providing an Ebola mobile lab.

Thereafter, President Koroma visited the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences Teaching Hospital at Jui in the east end of Freetown, but was prevented by medical and security experts on the ground from entering the health centre as there were already three admitted suspected cases.

Meanwhile, government has deployed hundreds of troops across the country to aid quarantine of treatment and isolation centres.

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