Programme Manager of the National Disease Surveillance Dr Alie Wurie has disclosed that Sierra Leone is at risk of the new Influenza AH1N1.
Influenza AH1N1 is a very infectious disease that is caused by a virus and affects the respiratory system.
Dr Wurie told Awoko on Monday that, the reasons why Sierra Leone is at risk is because the virus is at level 6 (meaning it has gone cross continental) and that the virus is now in North, South and East Africa.
In North Africa it is in Egypt and Morocco, in the South it is in South Africa and Zambia and in the East in Ethiopia.
He explained that Sierra Leone is at risk because there are lots of Sierra Leoneans in those countries and they are always travelling home.
Globally, he went on, over 44,000 cases have been reported and over 160 deaths in 74 countries of which five Africa countries listed above are involved.
Asked what mechanism they have in place, he stated that the first mechanism they have is training Immigration officers who are the first point of contact and for them to detect people having it.
The objectives of the training, he said is to strengthen the surveillance of the new Influenza and the specific objectives aimed at orientating immigration officers on it.
The Programme Manager pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO) have provided fund to construct a Health post at the International Lungi Airport and other entry points in the country.
In her power point presentation, Sister Theresa Bioma explained where the virus started, how many deaths have been reported and how many people are infected and what mechanism are in place to combat it.
Assistant Immigration Officer and also head of inside Investigation, James Cooper said that one of the major functions of his department is to protect the safety and security of its citizens.
He described the training as timely and appropriate