April 7, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) has confirmed that all new Ebola cases are coming from four districts in the North and Western Area of Sierra Leone, which still continue to record transmissions, with the Western Area still representing approximately 50% of cases.
Retired Major Alfred Palo Conteh told a presser in Freetown that the number of confirmed Ebola cases continues to diminish, and is indicative of continuous downward trend experienced throughout March.
He said there is a major increase in the number of Ebola virus alerts recorded nationally, a total of 802, compared to 451 in the previous week, which he attributed to surge in activities during the just concluded three days stay-at-home campaign – 27 to 29 March.
Rtd. Major Conteh maintained that last week, NERC and its partners were focused on preparations for the campaign aimed to reinvigorate the fight against Ebola and isolate remaining Ebola cases from communities through social mobilization and active case finding, especially in the hotspot districts of Western Area, Port Loko, Bombali and Kambia.
He further said the zero Ebola campaign was successful in the Western Area as they were able to record a significant increase in sick alerts from members of the public; an increase of 119% compared with the average for the previous three weeks, and suggested that social mobilisation is effective in encouraging people to report sick relatives.
“Another measure of the success of the campaign comes from the District Ebola Response Centre (DERC) report that dead bodies were found hidden in houses that had not been reported until they were discovered by response staff taking part in the campaign,” Conteh disclosed.
The NERC CEO continued that to improve sanitation in quarantined homes and reduce sharing of toilet facilities, an NGO is piloting the ‘PEE POO’ toilet project as a stop-gap measure in a quarantined home at Crab Town in Aberdeen, west of Freetown.
Meanwhile, 10 out of 14 districts are now free from the virus with no new cases reported, except for Port Loko, Bombali, Kambia and Western Area, which are still recoding new cases of Ebola, although the country recorded zero cases for three days last week.
The Ebola virus disease has killed no fewer than 3,000 people, spanning a period of 10 months, with thousands more surviving the virulent virus.