It was an honor to be one of the presenters on “The Ebola Outbreak: Predicting and Responding to an International Crisis” at the Global Health Night at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine on January 13, 2016. See Flyer attached. The program was not only well put together, it encouraged me to believe that the medical students trained in this institution, will not only graduate with sound medical academic background but will also graduate with knowledge and tools ready to make their contributions to addressing global health. With over 100 attendees at this conference, display of student’s research from different parts of the world was also very encouraging. Thank you all for inviting me to such an important discussions.
Status of CITA- Sierra Leone
CITA International, dba SEED, was finally registered as a National NGO with the name Christ Is The Answer Sierra Leone (CITA-SL). The headquarters moved from Freetown and is now officially located in Kabala at 42E Forest Road, Yogomaia. A sub office remains at No. 33 Juba Hill Terrace Freetown. The new e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org All correspondence with the CITA-SL are now directed to this email address.
To improve the sanitary conditions at the Nar Sarah Clinic, a 24 hrs. water supply has been constructed and is in use.
The Clinic is now a clinical site for medical students, nurses, and community health officers. Note Paul Gbanabom, in the far back, and Finda Kargbo – both Nurse-Midwifery students. The clinic is also a site for Free Health Care for all pregnant women supported by the Sierra Leone Government.
All patients continue to be screened in a separate building before they are sent to the clinic for further medical care. Here, they are trained in the prevention of Ebola and other communicable diseases. Though the staff worked hard with other NGOs and Gov. officials to prevent Ebola in Koinadugu, robust sensitization continues in Ebola transmission from body fluids such as semen and breast milk.
After the devastating burning of some parts of the oil plantation due to accidental bush fire, Agriculture program is now under serious rehabilitation and maintenance. Crops including cassava, coco-yam, cashew, mangoes, avocado, pineapples, and guava have been introduced in the Bendugu farm. This move is aimed at generating immediate income even as cash crops are being nursed for further planting.
Some of the Oil palms that survived
Pineapple plantation on the farm.
A harvest of some of the hot pepper, an important ingredient in most Sierra Leone cooked meals.
This cassava farm is seen on the clinic grounds and on the Bendugu farms. Cassava is the next staple food to rice in Sierra Leone. At present we are looking at ways to preserve it once harvested.
Animal husbandry continues. We currently have 7 cows and 1 bull. They currently roam around for feeding. We are working on having a structure to house them and grow their feed.
Women Against Poverty: This group continues. The present group’s main focus is on micro-finance. A new group is now being discussed for women in the villages. In speaking with women in these villages, it sounds like they are interested in skills training, empowering them in their villages, and helping them address their basic needs, such as saving time from water collection. Ideas such as women’s groups, skill training such as sewing their clothes, weaving and marketing their produce are being discussed, to determine how best WAP can work for them.
Healing Waters: The Healing Water project has made it possible to have safe drinking water at the clinic. It also has a machine that packets water, 1.5 cups of water in each package. This is sold at about 20 cents a package. This income is then used to pay for fuel to run the machine and provide jobs for school children. Note that this is the only site that provides jobs to school children. This, in-turn, helps bring badly needed financial assistance to their family.
Scholarship of Hope. The number of children asking for help with school fees is increasing. Discussions on moving more into technical skills training such as carpentry, constructions, electrical training etc. is being seriously considered.
Field Visits: CEO/President Dorcas K. Kamanda and Chairman Board of Directors Daniel Kamanda for SEED Inc. USA arrived in the field on the 15th September 2015 and were joined by Mr. Les Law Vic. President and Mrs. Hope Law, adviser to the Board, the following week. During this visit, meetings were held with officials in the Standard Chartered Bank in Freetown, and several were held with the field staff in Kabala. Also conducted, were the presentation of donated medical supplies, seeds and varieties of clothing, baby toys, and baby kits. Visits were made to agricultural institutions at Makeni, Bo and Njala. New and improved varieties of cassava cuttings and other seedlings were procured for planting in Kabala and on the Bendugu farm.
During the visits, many people spoke highly of the work of the clinic, especially its part in the prevention of Ebola in the District. The staff were thanked and praised for their work. During the discussions, the staff expressed the desire to upgrade the clinic to a hospital level. They had already constructed a bio-toilet and added showers to the bathroom. In addition they would like to start a mobile clinic to help reduce the mileage some patients have to walk to come to the clinic. We encouraged them to keep the clinic as it is for now and perhaps start a mobile clinic instead. We are now looking at raising funds to help with the logistics of a mobile clinic as well as assistance in digging wells for clean water in the villages we work in.
Adult Literacy: This had been suspended during the Ebola crisis. The women are asking for it again.
WAP The original WAP women are more involved in micro-lending and seem to be moving to supporting themselves. We are now considering moving into villages and starting WAP in these remote areas.
S.E.E.D. President, Dorcas Kamanda traveled to Sierra Leone in September 2015 and will be returning during the first week of October.
We are looking forward to hearing more about her travels; and receiving updated photos and news.
Stay tuned for more information from the NarSarah Clinic!
Thanks for your continued support.
Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone
EBOLA OUTBREAK UPDATES—January 23, 2015
• Total Survived and Discharged Cases = 2,168
• New Confirmed cases = 14 as follows:
Kailahun = 0, Kenema = 0, Kono = 0
Bombali = 0, Kambia = 4, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko = 1, Tonkolili = 0
Bo = 0, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 0, Pujehun = 0
Western Area Urban = 6, Western Area Rural = 3, Missing = 0
Note: Missing = sample which could not be traced to a district due to wrong information or data on lab forms
• Cumulative confirmed cases = 7,958 as follows:
Kailahun = 565, Kenema = 498, Kono = 235
Bombali = 979, Kambia = 146, Koinadugu = 103, Port Loko = 1,298, Tonkolili = 446
Bo = 314, Bonthe = 5, Moyamba = 202, Pujehun = 31
Western Area Urban = 2,013, Western Area Rural = 1,109, Missing = 14
• Total cumulative confirmed death is 2,814
• Probable cases = 287
• Probable deaths = 208
• Suspected cases = 2,235
• Suspected deaths = 158
Ebola Virus Disease Situation Report
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation
For more information, please contact:
District level: District Health Management Team
National level: Directorate of Disease Prevention and Control,
Website: www.nerc.sl or www.health.gov.sl
Mobile: 117 (Toll free)
National Ebola Response Centre | (NERC)
Broadcast to the Nation
By His Excellency the President
Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
Fellow Sierra Leoneans
We have been ensuring a steady downward trend in the number of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone over the past seven weeks and I wish to express my deep and sincere gratitude to all those who have contributed to this achievement. In my working visits to all districts and nearly all treatment centers in the preceding months to urge, endorse and monitor the measures we have collectively taken, I saw first hand the courage and great work of all our Ebola response workers and the determination and commitment of ordinary Sierra Leoneans to fight this disease. We owe the downward trend to this collective commitment This positive development also reflects the significant improvement in the infrastructure that government and our partners have put in place across the nation to combat Ebola; we have substantially more beds and lab capacity, more ambulances, better processes and response time and more trained staff across the breadth of the response.
We are now entering a transition phase. Given the progress being made against the disease, we must take action to enable economic and social recovery.
Starting tomorrow, we are taking the following measures:
First, restrictions on movement will be eased to support economic activity. As such, there will no longer be any district or chiefdom level restrictions on movement. No quarantines or restrictions on movement above the household level will be imposed either by Government or local authorities. But we should not become complacent. I welcome the initiatives taken by District Ebola Response Centres and local authorities to enhance community surveillance and community watch efforts. These efforts must continue as we move into a phase of hunting down the disease.
Second, at the same time as we embark on the second phase of the Western Area Surge, we have decided to ease the restrictions on trading hours in the Western Area. Trading hours on Saturday will now end at 6pm. However, restrictions of trading on Sundays remain in force.
Third, as we move towards our target of zero cases by 31st March, hazard pay for Ebola Response Workers and health workers will be removed at the end of March. We are reviewing the needs of the sector as a whole, to ensure we are able to transition towards a stronger and more resilient healthcare system. Starting on the 1st of February, we will implement a more rigorous system of payment for hazard pay, ensuring fair compensation for exposure to risk, whilst ensuring that others do not take unfair advantage of the system. Any persons found to have falsified lists or taken advantage of the system will be investigated. We will not let the heroic works of our burial teams, swabbers, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, surveillance officers and others be tainted by those wishing to take advantage of the situation for their own personal gain. In the mean time, the NERC and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation are working intensely to ensure urgent payment of all back pay owed to Ebola Response Workers.
Fourth, we are well into putting modalities in place for the safe re-opening of schools. Our target date is the third and fourth week in March. Towards this, we have designed a Schools Re-opening Programme that will ensure the following actions:
Disinfection of institutions used as holding and/or treatment centres as well as those institutions identified as having accommodated Ebola victims; satisfactory water and sanitation facilities at schools; provision of educational institution with thermal sensors, training of teachers on Ebola safety protocols; incentives to get pupils to schools. This include school feeding programme, education provisions in place for girls who became pregnant during Ebola period and are unable to return to school; and supplementing teaching and learning at all levels through broadcast programmes.
Let me also state that the fight is not yet over. Even as we ease restrictions,
• We must focus on surveillance and contact tracing, until no new cases are coming from unknown sources;
• We must enhance our social mobilisation and community engagement efforts. We must own the response and Ebola must stop with us.
• We must continue to refrain from washing and touching corpses. Our records show that this is now the greatest threat to our victory over the disease. Law enforcement agencies and chiefs are under instruction to ensure that the full force of the law is brought to bear on those who touch or wash dead bodies.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans
The fight will not be over:
• until we have had zero cases for 42 days;
• until our neighbours in Liberia and Guinea have had zero cases for 42 days;
• until our surveillance capacity can ensure that no new cases are going beneath the radar; and
• until we have built the capacity and resilience in our healthcare system to interrupt transmission and prevent future outbreaks.
Only then will the fight be over. Therefore, though victory is in sight, we must not relent, we must continue to soldier on, we must continue to refrain from touching the sick and corpses, we must continue to support surveillance and contact tracing activities. These are the actions we must collectively continue to take ensure victory in the shortest possible time, and intensify the recovery of our beloved Sierra Leone.
God Bless You, God Bless Sierra Leone.