April 10, 2015
The Chinese Center for Disease Control (CDC) team in Sierra Leone on Wednesday held a meeting at the Evangelical Bible College Hall, Jui to review Ebola surveillance protocols with the three villages they are working – Kossoh, Jui and Grafton.
In his opening remarks, team leader Dr. Yun Zundong said since September when the first batch of Chinese public health team arrived in the country, they have been working with the three communities to eradicate the Ebola virus.
“The purpose of this meeting is to review, analyze and discuss the current situation of Ebola surveillance and response in the Western Area. You know we are together and we have made great effort and progress to win this war, and we have seen considerable decrease in the number of cases in the entire country,” noted Dr. Yun.
He said there were still challenges in winning the battle, thus the decision to bring local leaders in the three villages together to strategize in putting modalities in place so that they will be able to win the battle.
“Since last year September to date, we have trained more than 6,000 people all over the country in community training and social mobilization, and it was the Chinese CDC that started the ‘bottom to top’ approach that considerably weakened the virus and got it under control,” he said.
Dr. Yun said they launched the Sino-Sierra Leone Intensified Training for Ebola Response Project (ITERP) in January with the District Health Management Team (DHMT) of the Ministry of Health, and that they wanted to enhance local capacities for preventing Ebola and other infectious diseases through this pilot project.
“After we review and discuss the situation, we would like to discuss problems of surveillance and key measures as well as specific decisions we can take to win the war,” he said.
District Medical Officer, Dr. Thomas Samba, applauded the Chinese CDC team for their relentless work and said Sierra Leone must be grateful and happy that they are sacrificing their time and lives to help us end Ebola in the country.
He called on the participants to be steadfast and continue to do the right thing so that the Ebola disease would be a thing of the past in Sierra Leone.
Councilor Sheik Ibrahim Conteh thanked the Chinese team for the training and financial support they had received. He said Headmen and Councilors had benefitted immensely from the training and called on all in the communities to continue to do the right thing as Ebola must be eradicated in the country sooner than later.
Councilor Conteh also applauded Dr. Samba and appealed to him to continue to plead with the Chinese to continue their support in the three villages so that they would continue to stay safe.
Western Area District Ebola Response Coordinator, Zulainatu Cooper, hailed the Chinese CDC and averred that if they were not in the Western Rural District, they would not have done so well.
“It is because of your continued assistance that today the Western Rural has recorded eight days without any new cases,” she said. “Ebola will soon come to an end but we will want you to talk to your government to help us continue the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.”
Most of the local authorities called on the Chinese team to continue their support as their communities were able to eradicate Ebola. They praised Dr. Samba for his relentless coordination with the Chinese and appealed to him to continue to work with the team in the communities, even beyond the outbreak.
More than 50 participants were present at the review.
Team leader Dr. Yun thanked participants, noting that together they would all work to end the virus in the country.