Protective suits are left to dry after an Ebola training session. (Photo: Reuters)
WHO Warns Sierra Leone about Ebola Containment
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that while Liberia and Guinea have met their Ebola targets, Sierra Leone will miss them.
The WHO said Monday that Sierra Leone will not meet the targets for isolating 70 percent of patients with Ebola and safely burying 70 percent of the dead. Liberia and Guinea have met those targets.
"The intensity of the Ebola transmission in some parts of Sierra Leone is very high and the situation is getting serious each day, and could worsen," said U.N. Ebola chief David Nabarro. However, he added that “tremendous progress” had been made.
Dr. Bruce Aylward from the WHO said that Sierra Leone has most likely met the targets in the western part of the country. He also said that WHO has shown that you can begin to stop the spread of Ebola in a short amount of time.
"You can catch up with Ebola even on this scale," said Aylward.
In October, he said that to reach the Dec. 1 deadline would be "really pushing the system hard."
The chief executive of the National Ebola Response Center, Major Alfred Palo Conteh said in Sierra Leone that, "as far as meeting the 70 percent isolation target, we did not do well and could have done better." In the capital of Sierra Leone and in a province in the north of the country, there has been a resurgence of Ebola cases.
An Ebola expert who previously worked with the WHO, Dr. David Heymann, said, "We hope that what we're seeing in Liberia will continue, but unfortunately what can happen with Ebola is that it can go to new countries, as it has already to Mali ... The most dangerous thing would be if people now think Ebola is over and become complacent."
The WHO initiated its Ebola plan two months ago. As of late November, it said that there had been almost 16,000 cases of Ebola and 5,600 deaths from the virus