By Ibrahim Tarawallie
President Ernest Bai Koroma Friday disclosed at State House that in agreement with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a new treatment center will be set-up in the southern city of Bo by the end of this week to help in treating those infected with the Ebola virus.
Updating journalists and other stakeholders on the current status of the Ebola fight, the President stated that the rationale for establishing another treatment center was because of the growing number of victims and the limited capacities of the treatment centers in Kenema and Kailahun to cope with the surge in infection rate.
He said when the disease was confirmed in the country in May, there was only one treatment center in Kenema with a laboratory to attend to those confirmed to have contracted the virus. He said there were difficulties at the time in establishing a treatment center at the epicenter of the disease in Kailahun because of the resistance faced from the locals.
“We’ve realized now that the centers in Kailahun and Kenema are not enough. Because of the numbers and limited capacity of the treatment centers in Kenema and Kailahun, coupled with the overwhelming cases they are dealing with, we have advised ourselves to have another center in Bo, for which the MSF has agreed to,” he disclosed. “By the course of next week, we will have a new treatment center in Bo.”
President Koroma encouraged the media to use the survival cases in sensitizing people that “contracting the disease does not automatically sentence one to death, but rather there is hope if the case is reported early at the hospital for treatment”.
He informed journalists that as at the last count, the government has succeeded in generating over Le12 billion as contributions from the private sector and individuals.
“Let me commend the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) for setting up a response committee to continue the robust sensitization of the people. My thanks also go to corporate intuitions because the appeal I made was responded to,” he said.
The President ended up by disclosing that two Sierra Leonean officials have left Freetown for Dubai to inspect twenty (20) ambulances, and that if they are confirmed to be fit for the purpose, the vehicles will be airlifted to the country at the end of this week.