Port Loko, June 1 (SLENA) - The Chief Executive Officer at the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), Retired Major Palo Conteh is concerned over the re-emergence of the spread of Ebola within Port Loko district especially the Kaffu Bullom chiefdom that hosts the international airport, a key national asset. Conteh has stressed the need for more stringent measures to be adopted in ensuring spread of the Ebola virus is contained and completely eradicated from Port Loko. He made the statement during recent visit to the district which was necessitated by the last set of new Ebola cases that have all emerged within the district’s Kaffu Bullom chiefdom that hosts the international airport.
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It will be recalled Port Loko district has had the leading number of Ebola cases in the Country. As a result of both the immense pressure from no less a person than President Koroma himself and the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, the district made an impressive U- turn as it completed its first set of 21 days and was almost close to the final lap of the second set of 21 consecutive days when some unfortunate thing occurred.
According to the Coordinator of the Port Loko District Ebola Response Centre, Hon. Raymond Kabia, the setback started with the case of one Madam Kadie Yeabu Kamara who fell sick at Manni Curve in the Magbema Chiefdom and died of Ebola in Kaffu Bullom in the Port Loko District where she was taken by her kids for treatment.
Hon. Raymond Kamara informed the Chief Executive Officer that the district has since recorded a total of five Ebola cases though some Laboratory results have been challenged for the conflicting manner in which they were presented.
In a special briefing, the head of Command and Control Centre in Port Loko, Phil Weatherill explained some of the efforts made to get at the zero target and the constraints the Centre is faced with in trying to free the baby whose mother died just after delivery at No. 9 Water Street in Lungi.
He said even though the essence was to free the child from possible infection as the home was under quarantine status, yet the locals have vehemently opposed the idea. He disclosed plans to divide the inmates into smaller units and relocate some to No. 99 Main Airport Ferry Road, adding that the Paramount Chief has already started identifying houses in his Chiefdom for the purpose.
He spoke of the apparent security lapses at the various Ebola check points and the secret burials as some of the crucial challenges they are faced with in combating Ebola in the district.
Responding to the reports presented to him, the Chief Executive Officer said the National Ebola Response Centre has closely been following the developments in the Port Loko District with delight, saying they were highly impressed when the district went through a first 21 days of no Ebola case and were even half way to the end of the second set of 21 consecutive days.
He said even though NERC is saddened by this ugly development, yet he was there to give them a pat on the back for having gone that much far. The Chief Executive Officer said the various stakeholders did well and that it is pointless for them to be dampened by that; rather they should forge ahead with the good hard work, adding that they have done a fantastic job.
Retired Major Palo Conteh however cautioned the method through which the People of No. 9 Water Street were to be relocated so as not to use forceful means. He said they only need to ensure that the place was thoroughly condoned. Palo Conteh emphasise need for every Ebola case in Kaffu Bullom to be treated with the utmost seriousness for the simple reason that it is the chiefdom that harbours one of the key National assets of this country which is the Freetown International Airport and warned that the Command Centre should also be mindful of the chiefdoms that are of high risks by ensuring that the laid down restrictions are adhered to.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.