Freetown, Oct. 28, 014 (MOHS) – The National Coordinator of the newly established National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), Rtd. Major Paolo Conteh has called for concerted efforts in the fight to contain the deadly Ebola virus disease in the country.
Addressing his audience at the discharged ceremony of 41 patients who survived the deadly Ebola disease at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Centre organized at the Police Training School Keith Lewis Hall at Hastings, Rtd. Major Paolo Conteh reiterated the need for patriotism to contain the outbreak, adding that he is optimistic of victory over the disease by being together in the fight. Major Paolo referred to the outbreak as a crucial battle for every well-meaning Sierra Leonean.
He expressed his determination to use his military myth and commitment to contain the disease, stressing the need for continued support of the populace.
The NERC Coordinator encouraged the survivors to spread the good message of survival in their various communities by educating them that there are chances to survive the virus when detected early.
He warned communities against stigmatization, and appealed that the survivors be accepted in good faith as they are now infection free.
Rtd. Major Paolo Conteh described the work of the medical staff at the centre as fantastic and encouraged them to continue the good work.
Making his remarks, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah noted the resourceful work of the medical team and other staff at the centre describing the success story in the centre as remarkable.
The impact staff have made since the inception of the centre, the minister said, would go a long way in the history of the outbreak.
Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah registered maximum support to the establishment of NERC, and reiterated the ministry’s commitment to strengthening collaboration in winning what he referred to as a crucial war that needs the support of every Sierra Leonean.
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella a Politician of high repute and Senior UN Staff advocated for joint efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak noting that it is a disease that has no boundary, and knows no tribe, religion, party or colour.
“The Ebola is not partisan and the Sierra Leone epidemic is the worse”, Dr. Yumkella said, and appealed to Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora to join the fight to contain the outbreak.
He praised the medical team and the other staff for the good work, and promised to use his office to explore avenues for more support.
The Assistant Coordinator at the Centre and Infection Prevention Control Officer, Major Henry Bangura said the success story at the centre is as a result of the combined efforts of the Military and the ministry of Health and partners support.
He expressed gratitude to the Medical Research Centre (MRC), the Young Professionals, Salone Business Women’s Hub , the Sierra Leone Police and others for their continued support.
Major Bangura said among the survivors are a 2 year old boy, 2 months old child, and a 2 weeks old baby girl. He disclosed that of all four discharged ceremonies, it is now a foreign national, a Nigeria has been recorded among the list of survivors.
He told his audience that 332 cases have been recorded as cumulative admission since September with 164 survivors and 26 deaths that died on arrival due to delay in seeking treatment. “No health worker has been infected since the inception of the centre”, Major Bangura disclosed.
Giving his testimony, one of the survivors, 28 year old Nigerian born Theophilus Onankhinon said he touched an infected dead body whilst praying for the deceased in a village after Masiaka.
He said he came in contact with the deceased person through his intimate Sierra Leonean friend in the person of Abu Bakarr and later got infected with the virus beginning with high fever, diarrhea and vomiting. He said he was tested positive while at the Connaught Hospital Holding Centre and later transferred to the Hastings Treatment Centre.
Theophilus said he received warm reception and hospitality while at the centre and praised the medical team, the minister and Deputy Minister II, Madam Madina Rahman for their assistance throughout his admission at the centre.
Presentation of discharged certificates by the Deputy Minister II and gifts from different organizations formed high point of the ceremony.