World Health Organization: Western Area Surge Combats Ebola Proactively

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Across Sierra Leone, there are signs of a slowdown in number of Ebola cases reported. However, in the western part of the country, Ebola transmission remains intense and is currently considered the “hotspot” of the West African outbreak. The Government of Sierra Leone, WHO and partners, are sending in a massive surge of staff and resources to this area to intensify efforts to curb the spread of Ebola disease.

Screening for Ebola:

Medical students Stephen Kamara and Samba Jalloh get on their motorbikes. They have received several alerts this morning from the Command Centre about possible Ebola infections in their area of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. Using a standard checklist, they will screen each sick person and evaluate if there is a need for the patient to be transported and tested for Ebola.

“This is a medical war my country is fighting and I believe that the only way to stop this disease is for us, health practitioners, to come on board. We need to identify all sick people and take them out of the community as soon as possible,” explains Stephen about his decision to join the Western Area Surge operation.

The Ebola 117 hotline team based at the Command Centre sends alerts to Stephen and Samba when there is a call about a sick person in their neighbourhood. If they decide that the patient needs medical care, they call back the 117 hotline to send an ambulance to transport the sick person to the nearest holding centre for Ebola testing.

This work forms a key part of the Western Area Surge operation launched this week by the Government of Sierra Leone, supported by World Health Organization (WHO) and many other partners to intensify efforts to curb the spread of Ebola disease in urban and rural areas surrounding Freetown.

Across Sierra Leone, there are signs of a slowdown in number of cases reported. However, in the western part of the country, Ebola transmission remains intense and is currently considered the “hotspot” of the West African outbreak.

The emphasis of the surge operation is on convincing people to take personal responsibility for bringing this epidemic to an end – to put community before self. Ordinary people can save lives by calling the hotline to report possible Ebola cases or request a respectful burial.

Originally posted by the World Health Organization [Link]

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