SIERRA LEONE: PARAMOUNT CHIEF MOVES TO SHIELD HIS PEOPLE FROM EBOLA

FREETOWN, Aug 30 – A Paramount Chief in Sierra Leone, one of the four West African nations affected by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), has directed his people to stop any ambulance carrying infected patients to the treatment centre in his district.

Paramount Chief Amara Vangahun of Kenema District in Sierra Leone justified the order by saying every district should have a treatment centre to attend to Ebola cases.

“Things are truly getting out of hands,” the chief said, apparently in reference to the rising cases of Ebola in the West African nation.

Over the years and long before the EVD outbreak in the country, Kenema has been the treatment centre for Lassa Fever. But since the outbreak of the EVD, the centre has been converted to an Ebola treatment centre.

Chief Vangahun said he was very concerned about his people, hence the order he gave to them.

“People are dying here every day and they are not from my town. We have noticed as a town that our people, especially our health workers, get infected with the disease through the incoming patients,” he said.

However, the people have not been able to carry out the order because the police and the military have been deployed to provide security for the centre and the ambulances that convey Ebola patients.

According to the latest EVD update by the World Health Organization (WHO), Sierra Leone has the second highest number of EVD cases (1,026) after Liberia (1,378), while the number of deaths stood at 422, third behind Liberia (694) and Guinea (430).

The fourth West African nations hit by the disease, Nigeria, has recorded 17 cases and six deaths. Nigeria puts the number of cases at 15, two below the WHO figure.

Overall, 1,552 people have died of EVD in the sub-region, as at Aug 26.

SOURCE: PANA

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