Ebola has claimed over 10,000 lives in west African countries. Sierra Leone has introduced a new operation in two hotspot areas of Ebola as part of efforts to eradicate the epidemic, revealed the country's National Ebola Response Center (NERC). This move came on the heels of a curfew imposed by President Ernest Bai Koroma in Port Loko and Kambia districts last week.
Pallo Conteh, CEO of the National Ebola Response Center, said, "The operation is designed to target the last remaining pockets of the Ebola virus disease in northern Sierra Leone. The main thrust of the operation is to identify, contain and eradicate the Ebola virus in the affected areas and communicate with the wider community and neighboring chiefdoms in a bid to contain cases which are discovered to ensure no new spread of the disease."
Conteh further added, "Operation Northern Push emanated from directives by President Koroma in his message to the country restating his desire to get the country to a resilient zero as quickly as possible and to remain zero for 42 days. The operation will involve a significant security presence to help ensure the safety and security in the communities during the surge."
Conteh explained that a major part of this operation will be the implementation of much better quarantine measures by finding, isolating and tracking people who abscond. It will also increase in community surveillance which will be enhanced by a stricter enforcement of the safe and dignified burial coupled with the implementation of the by-laws.
Conteh said, "The idea of the operation is to end the transmission of the virus in chiefdoms in the two districts, the current hotspots, with the sole aim of kicking the virus out of the country once and for all so that the country will redirect its meagre resources in building the country."