‘Ebola patients aided to escape’


…says Western Rural coordinator

February 4, 2014 By Regina Pratt 

Ebola suspects from other districts are being aided to escape to the Western Rural district, according to Western Area Rural Ebola Response Coordinator, Madam Zulaikatu Cooper.

Speaking yesterday to the media at the British Council seminar room as she updated journalists on the Western Area surge, Cooper said Ebola suspects were reported to have escaped into the Western Area Rural District from Moyamba, Port Loko and Kono districts on 21 January.

“According to our monitors in the field, a patient (name withheld) from Rokai village in the Moyamba district, who was found at the Fogbo health centre, was aided to cross by boat to the Western Area Rural District,” she told reporters. “During an investigation by the monitors it was discovered that the village headman from Ribbi chiefdom in the Moyamba district transported the patient by boat to the Fogbo headman, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara.”

This discovery, Madam Cooper said, is one of the many incidences that had been inflating the Ebola cases in the Western Rural District, adding that with a very robust monitoring team on the ground, they were able to discover potential threats to the final eradication of Ebola in the district and the country as a whole.

The coordinator further revealed that secret burials were still being carried out in the district, which is just few hours’ drive from the capital, Freetown.

She added that: “We will authorize the full operation of Ebola checkpoints at strategic locations all over the district. With our partners we will introduce mobile Ebola screening with the aid of the military and a mobile laboratory randomly across the district to locate suspected cases.”

She disclosed that they had held a meeting on 31 January with community leaders and stakeholders at Mabang in the Moyamba district – which shares borders with the Western Rural District – and reached a conclusion that a holding centre should be built at Fogbo and ambulance boats provided to ferry patients across the river in a bid to avoid going through bad roads.

She thanked the international community and local partners, including the National Ebola Response Centre, for the provision of 12 motorbikes to the Western Rural District.