We as a newspaper also warned against complacency in one of our editorials but we also stated that we were then and now satisfied that the Sierra Leone health workers now know what to do if any new Ebola cases flares up.
That is exactly what happened when a woman from Kambia recently died in Tonkolili district where she went for treatment. She was an Ebola patient but people close to her apparently did not know that or report it to the health authorities.
On discovering and testing the corpse for Ebola (which proved positive) Sierra Leone’s anti-Ebola unit immediately went action tracing everybody that had contact with the deceased while telling the general population to remain calm.
Neighbouring Liberia has had this kind of flare-up a couple of times after it was declared Ebola-free by WHO. These isolated cases are expected to happen for at least a year or two in the three countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Meanwhile Sierra Leone’s Chief Medical Officer Dr.Brima Kargbo (photo) has issued an alert to trace a person alleged to have been in close contact with the woman that died in Tonkolili district. The person, originally from Kambia, is said to be already in Freetown, the capital. Here is the alert message:
The general public is informed of a high risk contact to the Tonkolili Ebola index case, who is believed to have travelled to the Western Area Urban by boat from Kambia district on Saturday, 16 January 2016.
Sheik Osman Kamara is the stepfather to the deceased index case and hosted her in Kambia. He is five foot tall, dark in complexion between the ages of 35 to 45 years old. He is an Islamic scholar and was last seen around Pademba Road in Freetown on Saturday.
If Mr Kamara is aware of this message, it is critical that he urgently call +23278124644 to ensure the necessary care and support is provided to him. If you have any information (as) to the whereabouts of Mr. Kamara, urgently call the same number +23278124644. All calls will be treated as confidential.
It is important to remember that Ebola is only transmissible through contact of bodily fluids of people showing symptoms of Ebola.
Dr Brima Kargbo
Chief Medical Officer
Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS)