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President Koroma

Broadcast Message to the Nation By His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma On the March to Zero Ebola Cases March 31, 2015

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, we have all just concluded the launch of the Zero Ebola National Campaign. This required us to stay at home for three days to allow health workers, social mobilizers and Ebola response workers to visit our homes with messages of activities against Ebola within our communities, all intended to help get us to zero. The National Ebola Response Centre is still compiling comprehensive reports, highlighting the level of success and the major challenges confronted during the launch. Preliminary reports however, show that thanks to the high level of compliance from the public, we were successful in bringing out the sick from the communities. 

Let me therefore as your President take this opportunity to thank each and every Sierra Leonean from all Walks of Life and every corner of this country, for once again showing great sense of patriotism and discipline, and for adhering and giving support to the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) during the three days campaign. I ask that we continue in this manner in our households and communities as we continue to fight this wicked virus, until it is removed from every community across the country. 

Let me also extend my sincere gratitude to all our healthcare workers, volunteers, Ebola Response Workers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), staff of the Ministry of Health and NERC, the security forces and all those who contributed in diverse ways to the Zero Ebola National campaign. A big thank you also to all our International Partners for their financial and moral support in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). It has been a difficult battle for all of us, but you have stood with us and supported us. As we plan for our post Ebola recovery, we hope that your support will continue. 

In a communiqué on February 15, 2015, my fellow Mano River Union Presidents and I agreed on the target of zero new Ebola infections in our respective countries within 60 days. I am still committed to the agreements in the communiqué bringing Ebola to Zero in my country by April 16, 2015. Therefore I am reminding us all that the exercise that ended on Sunday, March 29th is by no means the end of Ebola in Sierra Leone. Unless and until we record no new Ebola cases for 42 consecutive days, we must not relax, we must not let down our guard and we must remain committed to the fight against Ebola.

New Ebola infections in our country have continued to decrease week by week and, as the numbers continue to dwindle, we need to scale down the treatment and holding facilities and the staff numbers in these facilities. This move will in turn impact the hazard pay policy, which officially ended March 31st, 2015. For those who will be laid off because of the scaling down of facilities, let me express my sincere thanks to you for your brave national service to your country. You have been great heroes of the battle; your patriotism has been unparalled. Because you have all done a good job, because you have also gained valuable knowledge and skills that are forever now required in this country, the government is working towards providing employment and absorbing some of you into the service as soon as possible to revamp the health system and sustain our recovery. 

Let me also state that schools will re-open on the 14th of April as planned, and the Ministry of Education is working very hard to ensure that all necessary measures are in place for the safe return of pupils to school. No tuition fees will be paid in public schools for the next two years, and a national schools feeding program will be implemented in due course. We are also paying NPSE fees for all pupils in public and private schools; and BECE and WASSCE fees for all students in public schools. Government is also providing learning materials including free exercise books for public schools. No head teacher or principal in public schools should collect monies for these tuition and examination fees.  

As we head towards the Easter breaks, let me also remind the general public that all the laws covered under the state of public emergency remain in force and must be strictly adhered to by all. The following restrictions will also remain in force for the Easter break:
•    No public gathering as covered under the state of public emergency laws
•    No trading activities after 6 PM and on Sundays
•    No activities around the beaches and restaurants during the Easter break

We have been through a great trial, and it is not yet over.  But if we continue to show courage, discipline and act on the knowledge that every individual, every family, and every community is a major part of this fight, we will be able to rid our country of this evil disease and to properly begin our recovery. The battle to get to zero cases is truly on; we must not bring down our guard until we get there.
A Blessed Easter to you all.
God Bless Sierra Leone!

President Koroma launches National ‘Zero Ebola’ Campaign

Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress in the fight against Ebola. Through clear and decisive action, we have seen a major decline in case numbers since December 2014 and yesterday we recorded zero cases nationwide. Communities in all parts of Sierra Leone have demonstrated that they have the power to stop Ebola – yet we are still seeing new cases every week, each with the potential to infect many more people. We have recorded one day of zero cases, but we need to stay at zero. Ebola has not yet been removed from Sierra Leone.

The rainy season will soon be upon us and we risk the rate of transmission increasing if we still have Ebola in our communities during the rains. We need to move on as a nation to pursue the Agenda for Prosperity. Our children need to return to school in a safe and secure environment. We must collectively strive to rid our country of this disease. I have made a personal commitment to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get to zero Ebola infections and I call on every Sierra Leonean in every community to pull together as we make a final push to get to zero.

On 15th February, together with President Condé of Guinea, President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and the Foreign Minister of Cote D’Ivoire, I announced a 60-day target to reach ‘Zero Ebola Infections’. These 60 days will expire on 16th April.

I am therefore launching a 4-week national ‘Zero Ebola’ campaign to drive Ebola out of Sierra Leone. The ‘Zero Ebola’ campaign calls on all Sierra Leoneans to stay home for three days from 27th to 29th March 2015 and for three consecutive Saturdays; 4th April, 11th April and 18th April. The campaign will provide an opportunity for communities to be directly involved in the drive to zero cases, to reflect and to pray for the eradication of this disease from our country.

During the ‘Zero Ebola’ campaign, local communities will work in partnership with health workers, surveillance officers and trained social mobilisers to:

  •  inform communities about the behaviours that continue to drive the EVD transmission in their own communities;
  •   encourage behaviours which can prevent transmission, such as regular hand washing with soap and water; and
  •  find, isolate and treat Ebola cases through targeted door-to-door surveillance and contact tracing. The following restrictions will be enforced during the national campaign dates:
  •   All citizens to stay at home from 6am on Friday 27 March until 6pm on Sunday 29th March and from 6am to 6pm on the three consecutive Saturdays, 4th April, 11th April and 18th April.
  •   No trading activities across the country during those times
  •   No restaurants, bars and activities around the beaches during those times.

In recognition that Sunday 29th March is Palm Sunday which is a major festival in the global Christian calendar, church services will be permitted and the stay at home restriction will be lifted from 7am to 2pm. Churchgoers must be at home by 2pm. All other restrictions will remain in place during this time.

There will be provision for movement of the following essential workers:

  •  Health workers at public and private health facilities
  •  Staff and volunteers involved with the campaign and the Ebola response
  •  Security apparatus and private security companies
  •  Utility workers of Guma Valley Water Company, SALWACO and the National Power Authority (NPA)
  •  Fuel station workers
  •  Local and international journalists
  •   Arriving and departing passengers to and from Lungi Airport
  •   Limited commercial vehicles to convey churchgoers to Palm Sunday services

The economic development of our country and the lives of our people continue to be threatened by the ongoing presence of Ebola in Sierra Leone. The future of our country and the aspirations of our children are at stake. I call upon our religious leaders, civil society groups and every man, woman and child in Sierra Leone, to wholeheartedly support the “Zero Ebola” Campaign and to join with me in Getting to and Staying at Zero Ebola Infections.

China Donates 40 Ambulances To Boost Fight Against Ebola

By State House Communications Unit

The government of the People's Republic of China, through its Embassy in Freetown Friday 13 March 2015 handed over 40 brand new ambulances, assorted medical supplies and malaria drugs to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay in support of the fight against the Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone.

Accepting the gifts, President Koroma inclined; “I don't know when I should stop saying thanks to our Chinese brothers for their support to us,” saying that early this week a newly assembled Biosafety Level 3 laboratory was handed over to government which shows a clear milestone in China-Sierra Leone relations.

The Head of State recalled that ties between the two countries spanned forty years back and China’s support to Sierra Leone is visible everywhere in the country, adding that when the disease broke out China was the first nation that came in with support. He acknowledged that China has flown in with over five cargo planes loaded with equipment, medical supplies and drugs which have contributed greatly to the fight against Ebola in the country, and are also helping with the training of health workers.

The President described the donation of ambulances and medical equipment as timely, strategic and significant in that it reminds all that Ebola is still around us and that we should continue to fight the virus until we get to zero. He observed that China’s support to Sierra Leone neither comes with strings attached nor with any conditionality, hence thanked the government and people of China. President Koroma promised to visit China to thank the government and people for their support to Sierra Leone, especially during this dreadful outbreak.

Handing over the gifts to President Koroma, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E. Zhao Yanbo disclosed that the materials include one thousand beds, motorbikes, forty ambulances, worth millions of United States Dollars, in reinforcing the fight against Ebola and to help rebuild the country's public health system. The gifts, the Chinese envoy said are from the hearts of the Chinese people to the people of Sierra Leone, based on long standing ties that have existed between both countries.

He said the Chinese medical team has deployed one hundred and twenty personnel at treatment and holding centres, working as personal protective equipment trainers, helping with contact tracing and surveillance, adding that China is proud in supporting Sierra Leone in the fight against Ebola. He also commended the leadership of President Koroma in halting the receding virus.

Ambassador Yanbo said government has made a lot of achievements in the battle against the epidemic, hoping that with joint efforts the war against the virus will be won soonest.

Moving the vote of thanks, Sierra Leone's ambassador to China Victory Bockarie Foh, thanked President Xi Jinping, the great people and government of China, and lauded the strong leadership of President Koroma in the fight against the disease.

Office Of The President PRESS RELEASE

GOVERNMENT HAS NOTED WITH GRAVE CONCERN THAT THE DOWNWARD TREND IN CONFIRMED EBOLA CASES EXPERIENCED AT THE START OF 2015 HAS RECENTLY BEEN INTERRUPTED BY CLUSTERS OF NEW CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH THE COMMON FACTOR IN MANY OF THE NEW CASES BEING THE INVOLVEMENT OF MARITIME ACTIVITIES. IN RESPONSE TO THIS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS, AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 29(5) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SIERRA LEONE 1991, (ACT NO. 6 OF 1991) HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES THE FOLLOWING MEASURES TO COMPLEMENT THOSE ALREADY IN FORCE: UNTIL THE OUTBREAK IS CONTAINED, RESTRICTIONS ARE HEREBY IMPOSED AS FOLLOWS: NO COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SHOULD OFF-LOAD WARES IN WESTERN AREA MARKETS BETWEEN 5.00 P.M AND 5.00 A.M; NO BOAT SHOULD TAKE OFF TO SEA OR LAND ANYWHERE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY BETWEEN 6.00 P.M AND 7.00 A.M; THE NAVY WING OF RSLAF WILL PATROL THE WATERWAYS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH MARINE REGULATIONS AND WHARF COMMUNITIES WILL BE ENGAGED TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP IN COMBATING THE EBOLA DISEASE ON THE SEAFRONT; MEASURES WILL BE RE-ENFORCED IN THE FERRY TERMINALS, ON BOARD THE FERRIES, ON LANDING SITES OF LOCAL BOATS, AND ON BOARD THE BOATS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE DISEASE; HEALTH CHECKPOINTS MANNED BY RSLAF AND SLP PERSONNEL WILL REMAIN IN OPERATION AND BE STRENGTHENED IN EVERY DISTRICT NATIONWIDE. DEDICATED LOCAL TASKFORCES ARE ENCOURAGED TO MAINTAIN HEALTH CHECKPOINTS IN WARDS, VILLAGES AND SECTIONS ALL ACROSS THE NATION AS A KEY LINE OF DEFENCE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA; PUBLIC TRANSPORT RESTRICTIONS ARE HEREBY RE-INSTITUTED, NAMELY LIMITING NUMBERS OF PASSENGERS TO ONLY TWO (2) PERSONS AT THE BACK SEATS OF TAXIS; ONLY FOUR (4) PERSONS AT THE BACK SEATS OF LARGE PODA-PODAS; AND ONLY THREE (3) PERSONS AT THE BACK SEATS OF SMALL PODA-PODAS; ALL RELEVANT AUTHORITIES AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC ARE ADMONISHED TO STRICTLY ADHERE TO THE MEASURES ANNOUNCED HEREIN. END STATE HOUSE FREETOWN 27TH FEBRUARY, 2015

Obasanjo Assures of additional support to End Ebola

By Sate House Communications Unit

Former Nigerian President Gen. (Rtd.) Olusegun Obasanjo Thursday 19 February assured President Ernest Bai Koroma of additional support from the international community to give a final push to the waning Ebola virus disease in the three worst-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The statesman made the assurance while on solidarity visit to Sierra Leone, and commended the leadership of his brother (President Koroma) for effectively handling the situation. He also expressed his heartfelt condolence to the government and people of Sierra Leone for the loss of vital lives to the outbreak, and lauded government for recording only two new cases, for 19 February and prayed that it speedily drops to zero digit.

He also commended leaders of the other affected countries of Guinea and Liberia and hailed their concerted efforts as member states of the Mano River Union (MRU), which he believes has contributed immensely to defeating the virus. Considering the magnitude of the havoc, former President Obasanjo re-echoed that the epidemic has cost so many lives, including health professionals, at a time when the country was about to take-off for progress and fast track development.

He pledged to further reach the international community and sensitize them about post-Ebola socio-economic recovery challenges in the three worst-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Welcoming the Nigerian statesman to his Goderich residence in Freetown, President Koroma updated the former president about the latest figures for 19th February, recording only two new confirmed cases, saying that it is now better and has positioned the country almost out of the epidemic that has left devastating effects on the three countries. He described the visit as timely and informed his guest about the role being played by Nigerian health experts working with the African Union team at the Ebola frontline. This, he said, has enhanced the country’s fight against the disease.

The president said the three heads of state and government of the MRU are busy doing the things that will eradicate the virus in their countries.

President Koroma also paid tribute to the international community for their support in combating the disease and informed his guest about the forthcoming high level European Union summit on Ebola on 3rd March and a United Nations General Assembly meeting on Ebola in May this year. He reiterated that as member states they had met twice in Conakry within the MRU framework level to chart the way forward to break the chain of transmission in the three countries.

President Ernest Koroma urges international accountability of Ebola funds

President Ernest Bai Koroma has urged the need to foster international accountability for Ebola funds that were received by various international non-governmental organizations. The Audit Service Sierra Leone last Friday released a damning report on the use of Ebola funds that were directly received by the government of Sierra Leone. The report, which has been tabled in Parliament by the Auditor General, Lara Taylor-Pearce, raised serious questions of how some civil society organizations, individuals and politicians managed billions of Leones between May and October 2014. “Members of Parliament will scrutinize the report and individuals and organizations indicted will have the opportunity to react. As we have done our own part, we are expecting also international accountability,” President Koroma said. “This is accountability through and through.” President Koroma made the appeal yesterday at a roundtable forum organized by the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) on the theme: ‘Post Ebola Economic Recovery’. He said certain international organizations received Ebola funds and that, “We are demanding accountability from the international community.” Meanwhile, Parliament is yet to announce when it would review the report and proffer recommendations to either the anti-graft body or Law Officers Department for charges to be brought against individuals who should account for the alleged mismanagement of Ebola funds. A previous report by the Audit Service, the Annual Reports of the Accounts of Sierra Leone 2013, is yet to be deliberated on by lawmakers since it was tabled in December last year.

President Koroma Addresses to the nation 22nd January 2015

 

Fellow Sierra Leoneans,
We have been ensuring a steady downward trend in the number of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone over the past seven weeks and I wish to express my deep and sincere gratitude to all those who have contributed to this achievement. In my working visits to all districts and nearly all treatment centers in the preceding months to urge, endorse and monitor the measures we have collectively taken, I saw first hand the courage and great work of all our Ebola response workers and the determination and commitment of ordinary Sierra Leoneans to fight this disease. We owe the downward trend to this collective commitment This positive development also reflects the significant improvement in the infrastructure that government and our partners have put in place across the nation to combat Ebola; we have substantially more beds and lab capacity, more ambulances, better processes and response time and more trained staff across the breadth of the response.
We are now entering a transition phase. Given the progress being made against the disease, we must take action to enable economic and social recovery.

Starting tomorrow, we are taking the following measures:
First, restrictions on movement will be eased to support economic activity. As such, there will no longer be any district or chiefdom level restrictions on movement. No quarantines or restrictions on movement above the household level will be imposed either by Government or local authorities. But we should not become complacent. I welcome the initiatives taken by District Ebola Response Centres and local authorities to enhance community surveillance and community watch efforts. These efforts must continue as we move into a phase of hunting down the disease.

Second, at the same time as we embark on the second phase of the Western Area Surge, we have decided to ease the restrictions on trading hours in the Western Area. Trading hours on Saturday will now end at 6pm. However, restrictions of trading on Sundays remain in force.

Third, as we move towards our target of zero cases by 31st March, hazard pay for Ebola Response Workers and health workers will be removed at the end of March. We are reviewing the needs of the sector as a whole, to ensure we are able to transition towards a stronger and more resilient healthcare system.

Starting on the 1st of February, we will implement a more rigorous system of payment for hazard pay, ensuring fair compensation for exposure to risk, whilst ensuring that others do not take unfair advantage of the system. Any persons found to have falsified lists or taken advantage of the system will be investigated. We will not let the heroic works of our burial teams, swabbers, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, surveillance officers and others be tainted by those wishing to take advantage of the situation for their own personal gain. In the mean time, the NERC and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation are working intensely to ensure urgent payment of all back pay owed to Ebola Response Workers.

Fourth, we are well into putting modalities in place for the safe re-opening of schools. Our target date is the third and fourth week in March. Towards this, we have designed a Schools Re-opening Programme that will ensure the following actions:

Disinfection of institutions used as holding and/or treatment centres as well as those institutions identified as having accommodated Ebola victims; satisfactory water and sanitation facilities at schools; provision of educational institution with thermal sensors, training of teachers on Ebola safety protocols; incentives to get pupils to schools. This include school feeding programme, education provisions in place for girls who became pregnant during Ebola period and are unable to return to school; and supplementing teaching and learning at all levels through broadcast programmes.

Let me also state that the fight is not yet over. Even as we ease restrictions,

• We must focus on surveillance and contact tracing, until no new cases are coming from unknown sources;
• We must enhance our social mobilisation and community engagement efforts. We must own the response and Ebola must stop with us.

• We must continue to refrain from washing and touching corpses. Our records show that this is now the greatest threat to our victory over the disease. Law enforcement agencies and chiefs are under instruction to ensure that the full force of the law is brought to bear on those who touch or wash dead bodies.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans
The fight will not be over:
• until we have had zero cases for 42 days;

• until our neighbours in Liberia and Guinea have had zero cases for 42 days;

• until our surveillance capacity can ensure that no new cases are going beneath the radar; and until we have built the capacity and resilience in our healthcare system to interrupt transmission and prevent future outbreaks.

Only then will the fight be over. Therefore, though victory is in sight, we must not relent, we must continue to soldier on, we must continue to refrain from touching the sick and corpses, we must continue to support surveillance and contact tracing activities. These are the actions we must collectively continue to take ensure victory in the shortest possible time, and intensify the recovery of our beloved Sierra Leone.

God Bless You,
God Bless Sierra Leone.

 

Danish Prime Minister Commends President Koroma For Courage And Effective Leadership

By State House Communications Unit

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has paid a courtesy call on President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House this afternoon, Monday 19 January 2015.

In her introductory remarks, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Ebun Strasser-King said the delegation had visited a group of 19 Danish health workers working with the British at the 100 bed Ebola Treatment Unit in Port Loko and the Danish transport Ship that brought in 105 vehicles donated to UNMEER before coming to meet with President Koroma.

The visit, according to the Danish Prime Minister, is one of solidarity, friendship and assessment of the situation on ground. She offered her condolences for the loss of lives due to the outbreak and commended the president for his courage and leadership exhibited in the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD). She said that the visit is to show that Sierra Leone is not alone in this fight.

President Koroma heartily welcomed the Danish Premier and delegation and dilated on efforts government has made to reverse the situation. He noted that the visit is a testament that Sierra Leone should not be isolated and stigmatised as a result of the outbreak.

The president lauded the increase international response to the outbreak, and maintained that the virus is on the run but however cautioned against complacency and urged all to remain focused to sustain the fight against the virus. "We hope to be there very soon," he said, and added that government was anxious to roll out the reopening of schools as soon as possible.

He further pointed out that government needs to ensure normal hospital activities are resumed as more people are also dying of other diseases other than Ebola. "There is a lot of work ahead of us but we believe we are up to the task," the president maintained. He recalled that government was lauded for doing the right things before Ebola struck and was even considered to be a shining example for strengthening our democracy, building our institutions and developing the country.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah, CEO of the National Ebola Response Center (NERC) Major (Rtd) Alfred Paolo Conteh, Secretary to the President EB Osho Coker, State House Chief of Staff Saidu Conton Sesay, Presidential Adviser Professor Monty Jones, Gender Adviser Naasu Fofanah, and the Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Andrew Bangali.

President Koroma Addresses Kono on Need to End the Ebola Outbreak in the District

President Koroma Intensifies Social Mobilization Drive By State House Communications Unit President Ernest Bai Koroma has arrived in Kono district to continue his social mobilization drive for community involvement and ownership of the fight against Ebola by engaging paramount chiefs, religious leaders, traditional and cultural society heads, MPs, Councillors and other stakeholders to scale up their efforts and be vigilant to break the chain of transmission of the disease. Speaking at a Town Hall meeting at the Diamond Lodge in Yengema, the president said that Ebola is not a political fight but one that requires the input of all and sundry in not just Kono district but the entire country. He expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that Kono was never an epicenter or hot spot, saying that the local authorities promised to do more to reduce new confirmed cases. "The increase in new infection rates is good and bad at the same time. It's good because more people have come out to report symptoms of the virus. And bad because people are still obstinate in terms of general compliance with the byelaws." He urged the chiefs to implement the byelaws without let or hindrance, and vowed that any chief whose chiefdom is still recording cases should take responsibility. President Koroma noted that contact tracing, surveillance and social mobilization must be intensified to break the chain of transmission of the virus, and added that Kono now has more facilities such as treatment and holding centers and laboratory to end the outbreak. He maintained that the State of Emergency was still in force and can only be relaxed when Ebola is defeated. The president underscored the need for the unconditional enforcement of the byelaws and lamented the fact that government was busy developing the country when this "evil virus" struck. With a zeal that never tires, President Koroma vowed that he will cover every inch of the country to ensure Ebola is defeated at all cost. "In your own little corner, you should always think of the bigger picture and ensure that we treat this outbreak very seriously." The Head of State also reminded the people that Ebola is not a money making venture as they did during the war, noting that people should stop the habit of receiving salaries for work they didn't do, and called for effective coordination at the district level to stop the chain of transmission. "Let's close our ranks to fight Ebola," he urged. He admonished male and female survivors of the disease to observe the stipulated 90 days abstinence period and warned that the law will take its course against male survivors who fail to observe the 90 days period. Hon. PC Sheku Ahmed Tejan Fasuluku Sonsiama commended President Koroma for his effective handling of the outbreak and called for more assistance to tackle this epidemic. The paramount chief also paid glowing tribute to the president for ensuring that they chiefs receive the much needed help to intensify their efforts to break the chain of transmission of the virus. He urged for total compliance with the byelaws and the health measures stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The District Ebola Response Center (DERC) Coordinator PC Paul N. Saquee V informed that there are still challenges with respect to the behaviour change of the people to comply with the byelaws and health measures instituted by the ministry to help halt the transmission of Ebola. He promised the president that Ebola will be under control by the time he visits next. The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Madam Diana Konomani called on his colleague Minister of Health and Sanitation to continue to encourage health workers especially those at Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) to resume work.

President Koroma Addresses Stakeholders in Bo

President Koroma engages Bo and MoyambaWe must defeat this virus without further delay" - President Koroma urges the people of Bo By State House Communications Unit In his follow up visit to Bo City on the eradication of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) from the district, President Ernest Bai Koroma has commended the efforts the district Ebola response team has made, but noted that despite the increase in capacity to defeat the disease if effective coordination is lacking, the fight will be difficult to surmount. The president reiterated the need for general compliance with the byelaws and health guidelines stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. He urged for more efforts at the community level if "We want to defeat the virus". Although Bo has made serious progress, there are still cases of people dying in communities and therefore called on the surveillance teams to do more to track down infected people. President Koroma also urged the people to deal with the facts and noted that no one should attempt to impress him. "No one is above the law and I am happy that the Resident Minister has said that everyone is onboard the fight to defeat Ebola irrespective of political affiliation." He called on the people of Bo to put aside all tribal and political issues as Ebola doesn't "pick en choose" which party or tribe to target, and stressed the need to avoid complacency. "We should all collaborate and remain vigilant to bring an end to this fight," he said. The president also lamented the fact that schools must reopen and he was anxious to resume the sustainable development and transformation of the country. The chief social mobilizer further expressed serious dismay over the fact that young girls are being impregnated because schools are still closed. He warned that people should not celebrate because of yesterday's Ebola update with only 6 new confirmed cases, saying that it took only 1 case to create havoc in the entire country. "We must defeat this virus without further delay," the president said and noted that there are no "orders from above" as they were now listening to the "highest above", amid rapturous applause. The Head of State promised to revisit immediately after 21 days, and warned that no new case will be accepted as Pujehun's example is worthy of emulation. He called on the paramount chiefs, religious leaders, MPs and Councillors to take full responsibility to ensure the virus is defeated soon.

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