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Ebola outbreak in DR Congo…

President Kabba worried, urges govt’ for swift preparedness

May 14, 2018 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara & Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

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In the wake of the recent Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, President of the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors (SLAES) has called on President Maada Bio’s administration to swiftly prepare and tighten up the country’s borders so as to prevent re-occurrence of the disease in the country.

Congo is experiencing Ebola outbreak for the ninth time since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976. In the past five weeks, there have been 21 suspected cases of viral hemorrhagic fever, including 17 deaths, according to CNN.

Sierra Leone had also experienced the outbreak of the deadly virus in 2014/ 5 and over 3,000 people died of the disease.

SLAES’s President, Yusuf Kabba, on Thursday told Concord Times in an exclusive interview that their association was worried about the outbreak in DR Congo.

He noted that the country’s health sector is vulnerable and that early preparation would be the best for the sub West Africa country that had experienced the worst outbreak since the disease was discovered in 1976.

He observed that the best way to keep survivors safe was to have frequent and subsequent semen testing programme, which he said was very important.

The SLAES president believes that there are some survivors who still have fragment of the disease in their semen.

“If we do not have good clinical care, we will not be able to determine the status of the Ebola survivors. The basis of establishing this association is to complement the efforts of government in the fight against Ebola. This is why we have alerted the government of the recent outbreak in Congo,” he said.

He noted that there was every need to be raising awareness on the virus as Sierra Leoneans have forgotten so quickly about the EVD.

“People do not have time to wash their hands anymore. If you take a walk into offices, and even in some health units, there is no bucket for people to wash their hands.  These practices have been long avoided. I believed that there is no system in place available to tackle any subsequent EVD. All of this makes me worried personally as a survivor,”Kabba said, adding that people do congest in public vehicles, which he said was very risky for everyone.

He recalled that survivors went through so many challenges from the Holding to Treatment Centres, adding that some of their members were still experiencing lots of health complications ranging from knee, eye, to muscle aches.

Kabba also appealed to government to establish more research centres for EVD survivors to know the status of the virus and to provide better medical care for survivors.

“We want to see the present government fulfilling the promises it made during campaign to take the issue of EVD survivors in their agenda.’’