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As Ebola cases spike in Western Area…

MPs request more support

DECEMBER 4, 2014 By Jariatu Bangura

Members of Parliament representing constituencies in the Urban and Rural Districts of the Western Area have requested for more support from, and collaboration with the National Ebola Response Committee, to stem the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Both Western Area Districts have recorded 2,223 Ebola cases, about one-third of the country’s total of 6,132 as at yesterday (3 December), making them the hottest Ebola spots in the country.

Hon. Claude Kamanda, representing Constituency 095 in the Western Rural District, said in a meeting held at Committee Room 1 in Parliament with the Western Area District Medical Officer that it was disheartening to see transmission rate of Ebola spike in the Western Area, which includes the capital Freetown.

“The disease has reached a stage in the Western Area that now requires drastic measures. It is but expedient to fight Ebola with all our powers or strengths,” Hon. Kamanda said.

He requested the District Medical Officer to make arrangements for the deployment of twenty-one contact tracers, surveillance officers and monitors to each of the 20 constituency MPs in the Western Area.

According to Hon. Augustine Torto, representing Constituency 025 in Kono District, eastern Sierra Leone, “We should put a stop to this [surge in infection rate in the Western Area]. Lots of funds have been put in the fight against Ebola by our international partners.”

In his response, Western Area District Medical Officer (DMO), Rev. Dr. Thomas Samba, blamed the spike infection rate in the Western Area on proximity with Port Loko District, which has recorded 916 cases, the second highest in the country.

Rev. Dr. Samba said that sufficient beds at treatment facilities, instant removal of dead bodies from households, quick laboratory tests and taking precautionary measures would help reduce the rate of new transmission.

He promised to fulfill the request of the MPs by providing them each a team of 21 to trace infected persons and those who might have come in contact with Ebola patients.