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Sierra Leone News: Neini Chiefdom isolated

WFP trucks loaded with food ready for distribution in Nieni ChiefdomNeini Chiefdom in the Koinadugu District has been completely isolated and part of it including Fankoya, the epicentre of Ebola in the district being quarantined. So far, over 30 people have died in the chiefdom including the epicentre village.
Koinadugu had been the only district in Sierra Leone that had recorded no case of the deadly virus until early October when suspected cases emerged from Neini chiefdom. People with the virus reportedly from neighbouring Kono district managed to enter Fankoya thereby denting the district’s 100% zero Ebola case record. The suspected carriers had gone to the village to seek traditional treatment.
The suspected carrier reportedly died few days afterwards and was washed and buried in the usual traditional way, which caused the virus to spread in the village and beyond like wild fire in the harmattan. Sympathizers who attended the funeral and burial also unsuspectingly got infected and they unknowingly took it away.  Villages that are close to Fankoya; Kamaroh, Moriaya, Kumala, Yoroia, Kendaya, Bandakoro, Sumbaria and Fonbakuria all soon turned ground zeros.
The Paramount Chief of Nieni Chiefdom, Foday Alimamy Omaru Jalloh III said since decision was reached by the district task force team to isolate his chiefdom, he had ordered the isolation and voluntary quarantining of those known to have had direct contact with the first Ebola case in the village.
The Chief said following his order, a total of 119 people came out voluntarily to be quarantined and that they are presently occupying the primary and secondary school building in the town.
The head of World Food Program (WFP)-Northern Region Support Office, Linus Sarkor said two weeks ago they were informed by the Koinadugu DHMT of an outbreak of suspected Ebola cases in Nieni chiefdom. He said after their assessment, a total of 110 households were provided with food and other condiments in Fakoya and other villages and that they also registered 287 households in the chiefdom headquarter town of Kumala where they met 11 households with suspected cases and 12 reported deaths with 119 people quarantined.
The WFP officer said they have fed an additional 150 households in Kumala town because the entire town is being isolated. He pointed out that they have continued food distribution to more than 137 households in the town to ensure that the entire town people are provided with food while observing the quarantine. He said his team intends to supply additional 450 households in Yoroia, Bandakuro, Funbakuria, Kendaya and Liroh and other villages in the chiefdom.
The district Nutrition Officer, Foday A. Sesay said with supports from WFP and Health Ministry they have provided food for 110 households in Fankoya, 125 in Dankuria, 109 in Boikolia and 287 in Kumala. He said a total of 621 households in Neini chiefdom have so far received their quarantine packages from WFP.
Contact Tracer for Yoroia village, Kalie Koroma expressed frustration over the slow pace of response of the district burial team based in Kabala, the district headquarter town, disclosing that for four days running, when they reported of two death in the village, the burial team did not show up early until four days later. Kalie Koroma called for the training of a burial team for Kumala and Fankoya so that they can be able to respond to stress calls relating to deaths in order to avoid contagion through decomposed bodies.
Dr. Fasineh Samoura, Chairman of the district’s task force said they have adopted and initiated a number of tough rules and regulations in the chiefdom to ensure that the virus is contained within the district. He expressed confidence with those measures, the virus will not escape.
By Mohamed Kabba
Friday October 31, 2014

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