|By State House Communication Unit
During a courtesy call on him by the United Nations Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr David Nabarro, President Ernest Bai Koroma said Sierra Leone has come a long way in defeating the waning Ebola virus disease.
Dr David Nabarro is in the country to review the status of Ebola survivors, needs assessment and to also consult with the United Nations agencies on the post Ebola recovery programmes.
Expressing hope on the second countdown of the forty two days probation period, President Koroma reported that the last chain of transmission is almost under control saying that there is a need to have a conclusive study on survivors to ascertain the period of time the virus lives in the human body after surviving it. He pointed out the Liberian case, which he said, will help to guide on the measures put in place and to also guide the survivors.
Whilst calling to motivate survivors, President Koroma cautioned against stigmatizing survivors and noted the need for treatment and counselling centres for survivors particularly in areas that recorded the highest number of survivors as this will help to monitor the level of the virus and to also safeguard the immediate families affected.
On the arrival of the vaccine, President Koroma said it should be administered to all survivors to ensure limited exposure. He informed the UN envoy about his visit to Robuya Village in Bombali District and said he will continue social mobilization to communities to encourage and motivate survivors. He added that the survivor programme should be tied up with the health sector of the national recovery programme, calling for the need to heighten the immediate provision of health services.
Making a statement, David Nabarro congratulated President Koroma for his speech during the United Nations General Assembly and his show of statesmanship in the fight against the receding virus. He informed that he was in the country to have first-hand knowledge on progress on the ground and to keep abreast survivors’ challenges and how to address them. He said he will also be working on the recovery agenda and also help to provide access to the Ebola vaccine.