February 3, 2015
Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) Saturday (31 January) donated assorted items worth millions of Leones to newly discharged Ebola patients at the Hastings Ebola treatment centre.
Country Director Joe H. Pemagbi said at the donation ceremony that OSIWA is an advocacy and grant giving institution which is a member of the global Open Society Foundations Network.
He said the organisation works to support the creation of open societies in West Africa, marked by functioning democracy, good governance, rule of law, basic freedoms, and widespread civic participation, adding that they have been in the driving seat of efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus since May last year, the beginning of the outbreak.
He said the initiative has provided support to more than 10 organizations in the country to sensitize communities on how to prevent against the virulent virus, as well as donated food and non-food items to treatment centers and quarantined homes across the country.
“Today, we are here to encourage our brothers and sisters who have survived the virus and to also let them know that there are people out there who care about them. We know it’s not being easy for them at the sick bed, but I want them to also know that while they were here [at the Ebola treatment centre] we were praying for them and because God has seen them through, we thought it fit to donate to them so that when they go back to their various communities they will have something to start with,” Pemagbi told the latest batch of survivors to be discharged at the exclusively Sierra Leonean run Hastings treatment centre.
He disclosed that OSIWA has, since the outbreak, spent more than half a million United States dollars on various measures to help eradicate the Ebola virus from the country.
Also speaking, Coordinator of the Hastings treatment centre, Dr. Santigie Sesay, disclosed that there was a significant decrease in confirmed Ebola cases at the centre, adding that only two patients were still admitted as at last Saturday.
Dr. Sesay cautioned against complacence as the number of new infections decline, because according to him, that is a critical stage in the fight against the virus.
“We all know that the Ebola virus that has destroyed over 2,000 lives in the country started with a single case until it spread to thousands of people. So let me use this opportunity to ask you who have survived [Ebola] to help pass the massage to others that there is a huge chance for one to survive the virus if earlier report is made to a health centre,” Dr. Sesay admonished.
He revealed that the centre has discharged the highest number of survivors since it was established on 19 September 2014 – 511 out of 758 cases – while 246 deaths, including two staff, have been recorded at the centre.