Africa News

Sierra Leone Starts 3-Day Ebola Lockdown

Sierra Leone started its three-day lock down in a bid to contain the deadly Ebola virus that has killed thousands in West Africa, placing all of the country’s six-million people to their homes under quarantine since Friday.

Around 30,000 volunteers and health care workers were spread across the country, making house to house visits on Friday and Saturday to distribute soap and information on how to prevent Ebola, the Associated Press reported. The delegation also intend to find the infected people who refuse to seek medical attention.

Before the shutdown, people were in a hurry to buy for food and other necessities, while merchants are wary of losing three days’ worth of income, RT reported.

In a national address on Thursday, President Ernest Bai Koroma said the shutdown is necessaryin order to avoid further spreading of the disease and at the same time teach the people about it.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– President Ernest Bai Koroma”]

Today the life of every one is at stake, but we will get over this difficulty if all do what we have been asked to do,


However, the strategy faces criticism. Medical charity Doctors Without Borders earlier warned it would be “extremely difficult for health workers to accurately identify cases through door-to-door screening.”

Abubakarr Kamara, spokesperson from the local charity Health for All Coalition, said some teams doing house-to-house visits have poor training and “there were hardly messages given to the families which were beneficial to the households,” Agence France-Presse reported.

“While the supervisors were well trained, the visiting teams to families in some parts in the Western Area had poor training and could not deliver the information properly,” Kamara said.

The campaign is set to end on Sunday.

According to the World Health Organization, the deadly virus has already killed 560 in Sierra Leone and 2,600 in West Africa, and the numbers are expected to increase exponentially in the coming weeks if not quickly addressed by the international community.

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