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Salone peacekeeping troops are Ebola free

- RSLAF Medical Chief declares

OCTOBER 15, 2014

Commanding Officer of the Joint Medical Unit (JMU) and head of the 34 Military Hospital has said that all personnel of the second Sierra Leone Battalion (LEOBATT 2) are active and proving well, contrary to a report that one of the personnel had contracted the deadly Ebola virus.

Colonel Dr. Foday Sahr was reacting to a social media report that a LEOBATT 2 personnel had been infected with Ebola and that there was plan to quarantine all the troops. But according to him, “no LEOBATT 2 soldier has been infected with Ebola, and there was no move to quarantine the peacekeeping troops”.

The RSLAF medical chief rather disclosed that on the 1st October, a military medical personnel (permanent staff) attached to the Peace Mission Training Centre (PMTC) had reported at the medical inspection (MI) room of the PMTC with serious abdominal pains, and was treated.

He added: “On the following day, Lance Corporal Abdul Sanu was referred to the 34 Military Hospital in Freetown following a deterioration of his health. He was examined for Ebola and his medical result later showed he is positive,” Colonel Dr. Sahr explained.

Commanding Officer of the PMTC, Wing Commander Hassan Coomber, said Lance Corporal Sanu had not been residing at the PMTC camp because of the inadequate accommodation facilities.

He said before the three-day ‘Ose-to-Ose Ebola campaign, he had restricted the entering of all his training staff without accommodation into the camp, adding that his personnel only report for work when needed.

He said for over a month, Lance Corporal Sanu had not been seen in the camp.

Also commenting on the report, the Commanding Officer of LEOBATT 2, Lieutenant Colonel George Bangura, said he was never bothered by what he referred to as an “unverified media report”. He assured that their focus and commitment remained unshaken as all his personnel were encamped and were proving very well.

PMTC, located off Hastings, was established in 2010 to conduct Peace Support Operations (PSO) training for RSLAF troops. Since then the centre has successfully conducted trainings for several batches of RSLAF peacekeeping troops.

LEOBATT 2 is the second Sierra Leone contingent to be deployed with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The contingent was due to be deployed in July but the process was stalled following the Ebola outbreak.