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Ebola virus surfaces in northern Sierra Leone

Ebola virus surfaces in northern Sierra Leone

At least 13 people are highly suspected to have been in direct contact with Ebola victims in the sister districts of Kambia and Port Loko.  This was disclosed about 48 hours ago at the Kamaranka Primary Health Complex in Port Loko, where stakeholders largely comprising of Development Partners are often briefed on the prevalence of the Disease by Surveillance Officers and Health Practitioners.  (Photo: Dr. A A Kamara – the Port Loko District Medical Officer)

These suspected cases could be traced from Mambolo in the Kambia District, Mange Burreh, Lunsar and Masiaka all in the Port Loko District.  It has already been substantiated by the District Medical Officer in Port Loko- Dr. Adikali Alpha Kamara and buttressed by the District Health Sister- Mariama Momoh in their remarks at this regular briefing.

The background of their respective versions has to do with a Truck Driver that used to ply the Freetown/ Kailahun Axis.  His family was resident at Mange Burreh in the Burreh Kasseh Maconteh Chiefdom in the Northern District of Port Loko.  He is said to have also developed a cordial relation with one of the Serving Nurses at the Masiaka Health Post, where he used to receive some medical treatment.  He eventually had cause to join his family at Mange Burreh when the fever became persistent.  He was again relocated to his native home of Mambolo from where he was conveyed to the St. John of God Catholic Hospital commonly known as Mabasseneh Hospital of Lunsar as his health continued to deteriorate.

According to the District Medical Officer, it was at the Mabessaneh Hospital in Lunsar that the decision to have him isolated was developed after his blood sample was taken to Kenema. Sources say his relatives put up a stiff resistance until the Police went in to restore calm.

The District Health Sister was at Masiaka on a supervisory tour and used the opportunity to caution her staff on this latest development.

The situation suddenly converted itself to an uncontrollable fear and panic that left the bulk of nurses In tears when it was realised that the person in question was indeed the friend of their colleague with whom they have also had direct contact at the initial stage of his fever when he used to go for treatment at their Health Post.

Apart from the friend of the man, whose case has now been confirmed as having the Ebola Virus, the situation is equally bad at the Mabessaneh Catholic Hospital, where the man even vomited on nurses and doctors while trying to provide him with some medical treatment. Y ou would imagine how much the contact might have been made all this while and the potential that the virus is now spread far and wide.

by Hassan Bruz, Northern Bureau Chief

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