FREETOWN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – A military-style operation to
fight Ebola in Sierra Leone has helped to dramatically reduce
new cases, in what health officials say is a major step towards
defeating the deadly disease.
Since it was launched about one month ago, the operation has
doubled the number of ambulances for patients in the densely
populated west of Sierra Leone, the worst-affected country where
more than 3,000 people have died.
DAKAR (Reuters) – Dutch United Nations attack helicopters carried out air strikes on Tuareg rebel forces in northern Mali on Tuesday, the first such engagement by Dutch forces serving in the U.N. mission in Mali.
The U.N. mission, known as MINUSMA, said it was responding to heavy weapons fire directed at its peacekeepers in the town of Tabankort. It said the helicopters only destroyed a rebel vehicle after firing warning shots that were ignored.
DAKAR/KOIDU, Sierra Leone (Reuters) – Ebola is wrecking years of health and education work in Sierra Leone and Liberia following their civil wars, forcing many charity groups to suspend operations or re-direct them to fighting the epidemic.
More than a decade of peace and quickening economic growth had raised hopes that the nations could finally reduce their dependency on foreign aid and budgetary support; now Ebola has undermined those achievements, charity workers and officials say.
FREETOWN, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Sierra Leoneans observed a
sombre Christmas in their homes on Thursday, after the
government banned traditionally boisterous holiday celebrations
to prevent the spread of deadly Ebola in the worst-hit country.
Small groups of Christians in formal attire were permitted
to attend church services, but the family gatherings, beach
parties, concerts and dancing that usually accompany the holiday
were banned to help slow the deadly virus.
HASTINGS, Sierra Leone, Dec 23 (Reuters) – When Dr Sekou
Kanneh goes to work at his Sierra Leonean Ebola clinic, he will
probably be in the “red zone” for many hours, ignoring by
necessity strict limits that govern foreign colleagues fighting
Conditions at Kanneh’s treatment centre, the only Ebola unit
in the country run by local staff, contrast to the purpose-built
facilities where foreign volunteers who have flocked to Sierra
Leone, Guinea and Liberia work.
KOIDU, Sierra Leone (Reuters) – The rapid response team has arrived and the chaos is easing, but medics in a remote Sierra Leonean district are struggling to control a local Ebola outbreak when it’s too late to nip it in the bud.
A deployment of medical workers and equipment to Kono District has been the fastest so far in Sierra Leone, a country with nearly half the total Ebola cases,- under a strategy of tackling epidemic hotspots before they get too big.
DEVIL HOLE, Sierra Leone (Reuters) – Ebola centres in Sierra Leone overflowed on Wednesday as health workers combed the streets of the capital Freetown for patients, after the government launched a major operation to contain the epidemic in West Africa’s worst-hit country.
President Ernest Bai Koroma said on national television that travel between all parts of the country had been restricted as part of “Operation Western Area Surge”, and public gatherings would be strictly controlled in the run-up to Christmas.
FREETOWN (Reuters) – Health workers in Sierra Leone began combing the streets of the capital Freetown for Ebola patients on Wednesday, moving house-to-house as the government launched a major operation to contain infection in West Africa’s worst-hit country.
President Ernest Bai Koroma said on national television that, as part of “Operation Western Area Surge”, travel between all parts of the country would be restricted and public gatherings would be restrained in the run-up to Christmas.
FREETOWN, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Sierra Leone said it would
start house-to-house searches for Ebola patients on Wednesday
and impose internal travel restrictions as part of a new push to
combat the epidemic.
The measures are part of a month-long push in and around the
capital Freetown by the government, a British taskforce and
international groups that aims to make a breakthrough against
the disease within four to six weeks.
FREETOWN (Reuters) – Britain said on Tuesday it would not be seeking U.S. military assistance to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone where it expects to see “enormous change” by the end of January following a surge in response measures.
As a U.S. operation of 3,000 troops begins to turn the tide against the deadly virus in neighboring Liberia, calls have grown for it to shift resources towards ally Britain, which is leading the response in Sierra Leone.