Sierra Leone - Life in time of Ebola

November, 2014
Every district in Sierra Leone is affected by the epidemic. The government’s response is hampered by a lack of resources and coordination at both national and district levels. There is no strong surveillance system in place, while up to 85 percent of calls to the national telephone helpline get no response. Transit centres are full and management is really an issue, creating the risk of cross-contamination. As a result of overcrowding, delays in lab testing, and too few ambulances, staff in transit centres are obliged to send people untested to treatment centres, risking that positive cases infect those who are negative. As there are few treatment centres, and as these are often far away, people often die on the long ambulance journey there. Dead bodies have the highest viral load possible, putting other passengers at risk. Various NGOs have sent teams to construct new centres at different locations around the country.