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NEWS : Local News  

Sierra Leone News : Ebola Breaks Out in a Remote Tonko Limba Village
By Awareness Times
Aug 31, 2015, 12:10
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Ebola has again broken out in Sierra Leone; this time in Sella Kaftha, a remote village in Tonko Limba chiefdom of Kambia district. Factually, the only reason why this outbreak was picked up is due to the firm, foresighted leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma and the patriotism of some of the country’s top opposition politicians like Parliamentary Minority Leader Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai.

 

It can be recalled that some segments of the society had been against the continued institution of a State of Emergency (SOE) in Sierra Leone. An SOE is only legal mechanism by which communities can be forced to refrain from touching corpses of loved ones and forced to have all corpses swabbed and tested for Ebola before burials.

 

Swabbing is what has probably nipped the spread of the new outbreak in Tonko Limba. A woman in her sixties died. A male Ebola survivor from Kagbotho, a nearby village, used to visit her. It is unclear if their relationship was sexual. Male Ebola survivors can carry virus in their testicles and semen for months after they have survived the disease.

 

On confirming the corpse was positive for Ebola, immediate Contact Tracing and  further epidemiology is ongoing.


It is fortunate that despite a call from the national leadership of the opposition SLPP for Parliament to reject the SOE, the SLPP’s parliamentary leadership had not rejected the SOE because if an SOE is not in place, there is no legal basis upon which communities can be forced to hand over dead bodies of loved ones for them to be swabbed for laboratory testing and safe burials. Thus, if the corpse of the woman in Tonko Limba had not been tested, the virus could have quietly simmered in that remote village area and turn into an even nastier full blown outbreak. As at now, the chance of putting out the outbreak right there in Sella Kafta is very high - because of leadership shown by H.E. President Ernest Koroma and Hon. Bernadette Lahai.


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