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Sierra Leone News: As Ebola figures drop…Another Western Area Surge begins Jan.19

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Ebola Response Center Palo Conteh has said that the 2nd phase of the Western Area Surge (WAS) will commence Monday 19th January to 1st February 2014 after significant drop in the number of Ebola confirmed cases across the country.
The continuation of the Surge the CEO said is to improve on the successes of the phase 1 which recorded 944 sick people of which 263 people were found to be Ebola positive within the Western Area.
He said the Western Area Surge will help to bring out sick people in the homes with an extensive awareness campaign to reach out to more communities. Ward Councillors and other partners he added will also intensify their Ebola campaign in their respective communities.
Pallo Conteh said the phase 2 of the Western Area Surge is intended to further help the reduction of new Ebola cases and to build on the successes made since it was launched.
The NERC Chief Executive also spoke about recent reports of some Ebola survivors returning home following discharge and soon afterwards their partners testing positive for Ebola.
He cautioned that men recovering from Ebola should abstain from sex or wear condom during sexual contact for at least three months after recovery.
The Ebola Czar also commended Pujehun District for going 42 days without registering any Ebola case. He however reminded them not to be complacent especially when their neighbours both from the Sierra Leonean side in Bo and the Liberia side are still registering confirmed cases of Ebola.
Pallo Conteh reacted to the recent protests by some health workers over payment of incentives, stating that challenges still remain in the payment of health workers. He said hazard payment to health workers is faced with complexities considering the dangerous job and the sacrifices they are making.
“I was saddened to hear that the Western Area swab teams like so many of our frontline workers have not been paid on time” he disclosed. “I have ordered that this issue of payment should be resolved without further delay with a perfect system that ensures monthly payment direct to their bank accounts and by mobile money were possible,” the CEO stressed. He added that strike action for payment has disrupted the fight against Ebola, and urged that when people have complaints they should channel them through the appropriate authorities.
The NERC Boss also disclosed that some names have been submitted to the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) for proper investigations and promised that culprits will be severely dealt with.
Pallo Conteh spoke about his recent visit to the 117 operational call centres who are working round the clock to respond to Ebola calls. He also spoke about the condition of the UK nurse who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, reporting that she is improving and stable, and wished her speedy recovery.
By Saidu Bah
Thursday January 15, 2015

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