News / Africa

Ebola Spreads Throughout Sierra Leone

A healthcare worker, left, helps a colleague as she prepares his Ebola personal protective equipment before entering the Ebola isolation ward at Kenema Government Hospital, in Sierra Leone, Aug. 12, 2014.A healthcare worker, left, helps a colleague as she prepares his Ebola personal protective equipment before entering the Ebola isolation ward at Kenema Government Hospital, in Sierra Leone, Aug. 12, 2014.
x
A healthcare worker, left, helps a colleague as she prepares his Ebola personal protective equipment before entering the Ebola isolation ward at Kenema Government Hospital, in Sierra Leone, Aug. 12, 2014.
A healthcare worker, left, helps a colleague as she prepares his Ebola personal protective equipment before entering the Ebola isolation ward at Kenema Government Hospital, in Sierra Leone, Aug. 12, 2014.

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis

As Ebola virus outbreaks continue to spread in Sierra Leone, humanitarian agencies such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) work to contain the disease and educate communities about how to prevent contamination. 

IRC country director Saffea Senessie says the country urgently needs major technical and financial resources to contain the spread of the disease.

“The current rate of the transmission of the disease is faster than the efforts to contain it,” says Senessie. “The geographic spread of the outbreak in Sierra Leone is so fast we now have it in 12 of the 14 systems.”

“The challenge we have now is to contain the disease,” he says.  

Resources are stretched too far

The IRC country director added the other challenge is obtaining the resources and materials to meet the medical needs of all of the affected districts before it spreads further. “If all stakeholders including the government had invested six weeks ago, less money would have been required now,” Senessie says.

“There needs to be strengthening of coordination between different organizations and delegate responsibilities between the international technical staff, non-governmental organizations, and the ministry of health,” he says. “Quality, clinical case management is the cornerstone of Ebola control.”

People fear they will contract Ebola at clinics

Another major problem is that many people are afraid to enter health facilities. 

“We are observing significant drops in utilization of health services,” he says. “People are scared to go to health facilities because they are both worried about getting Ebola from health workers,” he says.

Health workers are being stigmatized. Senessie reports that some people have spread rumors that health workers are injecting people with Ebola.

Such misinformation makes it important, he says, that community leaders educate the public about the disease to restore public confidence in healthcare workers.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More