Ebola returns to Sierra Leone after 123 days leave of absence

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 January 2016

ebola must go2A woman has died of the Ebola virus after falling ill in the northern district of Tonkolili in Sierra Leone.

Doctors last night confirmed her death from the virus after two tests were conducted.

Although there are no other reports of Ebola like symptoms by people in the district, health workers are frantically trying to trace contacts of the deceased, and determine her movements in the last few weeks.

This news comes hours after the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday declared West Africa free of the Ebola virus.

And it seems WHO is now engulfed in an embarrassing and controversial crisis, for its hasty decision to declare the Ebola crisis over, despite this suspected case in Tonkolili several days ago, that is now confirmed to be Ebola.

In 2014 WHO was strongly criticised in several reports for failing to act quickly and decisively in responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Today, it is being accused of acting too hastily in declaring the region free of the virus.

After celebrating an end to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone over two months ago, darkness descended upon health officials yesterday, when a spokesman for the health ministry – Yaya Tunis reported that; “A suspected Ebola death has been reported in Tonkolili District today. the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has dispatched a team, supported by international partners to investigate the suspected death and it’s circumstances.”

On the 10 January 2016, the Sierra Leone Telegraph reported that “It is now sixty-four days since Sierra Leone was declared Ebola free, but the risk of Ebola returning remains,” and returned it has from its leave of absence.

salone poverty2Is it possible to eradicate Ebola in Sierra Leone, given the obscene levels of poverty and poor sanitation that over 75% of the population are experiencing?

As the people of Sierra Leone now wait impatiently to find out whether this week’s death in Tonkolili is an isolated case or the start of new outbreak, serious questions must be asked about the surveillance systems that should have been in place in Tonkolili.

Once again it seems the authorities have been caught napping by Ebola.  Whilst life may slowly be returning to normal in Sierra Leone, though with immense difficulty, there are tens of thousands of people who continue to suffer multi-morbidities since their recovery from the virus.

Would Sierra Leone now need to learn how best to cope with living with this deadly virus, amid the grotesque levels of poverty, and squalid conditions far too many people call their home?

The last two Ebola fatalities were recorded on the 11th to 16th September 2015. Total dead in the last 236 days now stands at 51 – up one; whilst total dead the last 346 days stands at 707. Total cumulative deaths since May 2014 – when official counting began has now gone up to 3,590.

The last reported case was in Bombali 123 days ago, on the 13th September. Total cumulative cases recorded in Sierra Leone, since May 2014 has gone up to 8,705.

All 103 cases recorded since the 19th May 2015, were found along the Freetown – Northern Ebola axis.

Cumulative cases found in Kailahun stands at 565, with 436 days of zero new cases; Kenema 503   cases, and 327 days without any cases; Kono 253 – no new cases in the last 324 days; Bombali 1,050 – and 123 days without any new cases; Kambia 259 – and 126 days without a new case; Koinadugu 109 – no new cases in the last 271 days; Port Loko 1,484 and zero new cases in the last 183 days.

Tonkolili – now has 458 cases, up one, after clocking 160 days without a single case of Ebola. Bo 314 – no new cases in the last 365 days; Bonthe 5 – no new cases in the last 391 days; Moyamba 209 – no new cases in the last 303 days; Pujehun 31 – no new cases in the last 412 days; Freetown 3,463 and Zero new cases in the last 159 days. No new cases have been found in the rural areas of the capital in the last 262 days.

As the Sierra Leone Telegraph continues to warn, the north – in particular Kambia, Port Loko, Bombali, Tonkolili and the capital Freetown, must remain on special Ebola watch, as the southern districts continue to show exemplary standards in the fight against the Ebola virus.

Fears about the continuing risk of the emergence of an isolated case of Ebola, and the advice for authorities in Sierra Leone to remain vigilant, have today been confounded.

How will the WHO and the government of president Koroma respond this time, after failing to act quickly and decisively in responding to the Ebola crisis in 2014?

Did the WHO act too hastily in declaring the end of Ebola in West Africa yesterday, just hours before the death of a woman was confirmed in Sierra Leone?

2 Comments

  1. H I D D E N – E B O L A – A G E N D A

    Protocol denied: Could 5,000 lives have been saved?

    How can medical doctors and health establishments, after receiving hard evidence from scientific studies and an FDA approval that certain existing oral medicines are able to positively affect the prevention and intervention of EBOV and cure Post Ebola Syndrome complications in survivors, deny victims access to that compassionate medication and fully ignore respect for life?

    This is like an ethical controversy between passive euthanasia and abortion of existing life. And it happened in the Mano River Region.

    Hundreds of Ebola patients and approximately 100 survivors have been successfully administered with these existing oral tablets, which showed no side effects. But the health brigade still scorn and hide the amazing results.

    There can only be two reasons for this mental twist: (1) Total stupidity, or (2) Deliberate denigration of integrity for personal gain with hidden agendas.

    In both cases the responsible individuals should be dismissed from their posts and the organizations involved dismantled.

    Under argument No.1, they don’t deserve the title of Medical Professional because of incompetence. And in the second, they proved total lack of humanitarian compassion. If this is the case they are not only responsible for a humanitarian disaster, but also the cause of the total collapse of the economies of the region.

    On June 19, 2013, six months before the 1st Ebola case popped up in Guinea, the FDA in the USA approved an existing oral drug – Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, for the intervention of Ebola Zaire Strain, the mutation that killed over 10,000 people in the Mano River Union and destroyed the lives of their families, and also of the 15,000 survivors who are now becoming the new pariahs of society.

    In 2011 the Harvard University and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases published a scientific study which showed that Clomiphene and Cholesterol Blockers (Statins) medicines are identified as potent inhibitors of EBOV.

    From August 2014, again and again, studies have been provided to the international medical community with humble request for support, but every time they ignored the hard facts. If they had shown any form of integrity, most likely 5,000 lives could have been saved, and communities too would have been protected from relapse of symptomless Ebola in survivors with Post Ebola Syndrome complications.

    Till today they are still indoctrinating, manipulating and intimidating where required, to frustrate the implementation of these harmless medicines to treat Post Ebola Syndrome.

    We cannot bring the 5,000 Ebola dead back to life, but we can improve the quality of life for the survivors and protect the region from a lurking disaster. It is to the Authorities, Human Rights Groups and Legal Community to decide if action is required against those responsible for such tragic human failure, incompetence or wickedness.

    Let the readers of this publication be the jury.

  2. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) reappearance in this country should not surprise us. I have the following questions for the EVD workers and the government:

    1. EVD can only strike from an infected person or a primary source. Where did this person contract this EVD from after the three countries have been declared EVD free for over 90 days?

    2. From the time this person got sick, what is the health status of those who were near her or treated her? I hope this will not end like the Kailahun EVD that was rejected by the District Council chairman. The result was later declared as an error and the data thrown out.

    3. How long was this person sick before she died?

    4. Where was the virus residing after 90 days?

    In this situation, I have my reservation and will hardly believe the story. The tendency for people to use EVD as a vehicle to stay in employment should not be ruled out. The tendency for others to also use the old patients’ blood to circulate EVD should also not be ruled out.

    Let the government be careful not to use EVD to justify its widely spread rumor for an extension of their tenure in office. It was in the midst of EVD that Guinea conducted its presidential and parliamentary election. No extension was requested.

    Liberia too conducted its senatorial election during this period, and will be conducting the presidential election in 2017. No extension of stay in power due to EVD was asked for by the other two EVD infected countries. Let the fools be fooled.

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