In an interview with Solomon Jamiru who doubles as the Spokesman for NACOVERC he said that as soon as they received the information from Guinea over the weekend, the health emergency response system was activated to Level 2.
The Spokesman said they immediately put out a press release to the effect to inform all Sierra Leoneans about what is happening in Guinea and how prepared they are to combat it if it crosses over to Sierra Leone.
“We did not let down our guard as we are still fighting the coronavirus with every available technique and science available to us, and we were all around the Western Area over the weekend sensitising the populace of protecting themselves for corona. Now we have to raise the awareness now that Ebola is just around the corner and we must not allow it to cross and cause the havoc of 2014.”
Mr Jamiru said it was Ebola that prepared Sierra Leone effectively for the coronavirus pandemic, and they will not allow any reoccurrence to hit Sierra Leone anymore.
The Spokesman said the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is assuring the general public that they will build on their expertise and experience to mount a solid response that not only prevents the reintroduction of Ebola into the country but should the virus be introduced, have a strong system that protects the lives of all Sierra Leoneans and interrupts the transmission of the virus.
With the border with the Republic of Guinea currently closed, health authorities and local stakeholders in the districts bordering Guinea and Sierra Leone have been supported to heighten Ebola surveillance, and improve community awareness including appropriate preparedness measures. National Rapid Response Teams are being dispatched to provide additional support to the District Health Management Teams.
He said they intend to work very closely with their Guinean counterparts to quickly contain the situation. Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is suspected to be transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. It can be transmitted through human contact with body fluids of a person infected with the virus.
The Communications Lead at Emergency Operations Centre, Harold Thomas, averred that they were always on their toes as health specialists have said there will always be a second wave.
He said now that the second wave is in Guinea they are alert and ready to make sure that they nip it in the bud.
“Already we have dispatched a team to the border districts close to the areas where the virus is in Guinea and we are in communication with our Guinean counterparts to keep abreast on the situation in Guinea. We are calling on all Sierra Leoneans to be alert and take all necessary measures not to allow ourselves to go down that road in 2015.”
The government of Sierra Leone has activated its Health Emergency Response System to level 2 (Enhanced Surveillance, Active Case Finding and Robust Community Engagement).
Major symptoms of the disease can include some of the following: fever, sometimes unexplained bleeding tendencies from nose, gums, vagina, skin or eyes, as well as vomiting and diarrhea.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation wishes to encourage the general public to be vigilant and report all suspected cases and deaths via the 117 toll free hotline, or to their local authorities.
The Government of Sierra Leone intends to collaborate very closely with all local, regional, and international partners especially partners of the Mano River Union.