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Ebola countries end cross border meeting

The three most affected Ebola Countries in West Africa, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have ended a cross border meeting in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. Liberia’s Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, said the objective of the meeting is to developing countries affected with the Ebola virus to have access to cross border, and how to eradicate the virus from the region.

Minister Nyenswah said the first cross border meeting was held in Guinea and the second in Sierra Leone, saying, this was the fifth cross border meeting. He said the three countries invited Mali and Nigeria to help put ideas together to eradicate Ebola from the region.

He said Nigerians had Ebola in July and they are now Ebola free, so they were invited to share ideas on some of the strategies they used, noting that if one country in the region has a hidden case, all the surrounding Countries are in danger, so they are working together to make the region Ebola free.

Nyenswah added that they launched Ebola campaign in New Georgia, suburb of Monrovia on December 8, 2014. That community has been cooperative since September 2014, and has reported no new case.  The Chief Operator of the Ebola response team in Sierra Leone, Stephen Gagis, said 6,132 Sierra Leoneans are infected with the Ebola virus, and disclosed that all 12 districts in the neighboring country are affected.

Stephen added that fighting Ebola in rural communities is easy because a town chief will have known almost everyone in his village and contact tracing is also easy, unlike the cities such as Monrovia and Freetown, where contact tracing is very difficult. According to him, 70% of patients in hospitals in Sierra Leone are not Ebola cases because Ebola and other sicknesses have the same signs and symptoms. He said all sick people need to be isolated in order to treat those sicknesses.

The Reporting Officer of UNMEER in Guinea Theodore Coonen said that they are supporting all the Ebola affected Countries but the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response has its headquarters in Ghana. Mr. Coonen said UNMEER’s goal is to see all countries free of Ebola.

He said that Guinea has 2,200 cases, including Confirmed, Probable and Suspected cases with 428 deaths, noting that the disease in Guinea is affecting the economy and lifestyle of the people. He said that 90% of the contacts in Guinea has been traced.  Mr. Coonen added that the World Health Organization has trained 150 Doctors, while the Red Cross is working along with the Guinean authorities to carry on safe burials.

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