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ReliefWeb - Updates on Sierra Leone

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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
    Country: Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

    RÉPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE

    LES AFFRONTEMENTS SE POURSUIVENT DANS LE NORD
    Au moins 26 personnes sont décédées le 28 juillet alors que des groupes armés s’affrontaient pour le contrôle de Markounda, une ville du nord-ouest du pays.

    1 CASQUE BLEU TUÉ
    Le 2 août, un casque bleu de la MINUSCA a été tué lors d'affrontements avec des assaillants armés dans un quartier au nord de la capitale, Bangui. L'attaque a été condamnée par le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, Ban Ki-moon.

    TCHAD

    PRÈS DE 26 000 DÉPLACÉS DANS LA RÉGION DU LAC
    Des déplacements spontanés significatifs dus à la menace de Boko Haram et/ou à des opérations militaires et affrontements avec des assaillants ont été rapportés dans la région du lac, ce qui porte le nombre de personnes déplacées ces deux dernières semaines à près de 26 000. Plusieurs missions d'évaluation interagences ont été entreprises sur les sites où se trouvent les déplacés. Les besoins signalés comprennent le logement, la nourriture, la santé et l’eau, l’assainissement et l’hygiène (WASH). La réponse humanitaire a commencé pour environ 2 000 personnes dans trois sites où des kits d’articles non alimentaires et WASH ont été distribués par le PAM et l'UNICEF. Une réunion de coordination inter-agences a été organisée le 31 juillet afin de planifier et de coordonner la réponse pour ces nouveaux arrivants.

    MALI

    12 TUÉS DANS DES ATTAQUES
    Des hommes armés ont tué 10 soldats maliens à la base militaire de Gourma Rharous dans la région nord de Tombouctou le 3 août, selon un officiel de l'armée. Deux soldats ont également été tués le 1er août lorsqu’ils ont été pris en embuscade dans une zone proche de la frontière avec la Mauritanie. A la suite de ces attaques, la MINUSMA a souligné l'urgente nécessité de faire avancer le processus de paix afin d'assurer que le gouvernement et les parties prenantes travaillent et agissent de concert, avec le soutien de la population, pour conjurer la menace terroriste au Mali.

    NIGERIA

    178 OTAGES LIBÉRÉS DE BOKO HARAM
    Boko Haram continue de perpétrer des attaques dans le nord du Nigéria où 13 personnes ont été tuées le 2 août, lors d'un raid sur le village de Malari, dans l'État de Borno. Des sources médiatiques indiquent que des maisons et d'autres structures ont été brûlées ou détruites pendant l'attaque. Le 3 août, l’armée nigériane a dit avoir attaqué une base de Boko Haram et libéré 178 otages, principalement des femmes et des enfants, près d’Aulari, à environ 70 kilomètres au sud de Maiduguri.

    RÉGIONAL/ MALADIE A VIRUS EBOLA (MVE)

    UNMEER A CESSÉ SES ACTIVITÉS LE 31 JUILLET
    Le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies Ban Ki-moon a annoncé le 31 juillet la fin de la Mission des Nations Unies pour l’action d’urgence contre Ebola (UNMEER). Dorénavant, l’OMS sera en charge de piloter la réponse d’urgence contre Ebola, sous l’autorité directe de son Directeur Général. Au 3 août, deux nouveaux cas MVE sont confirmés: un en Guinée et un en Sierra Leone, soit le total hebdomadaire le plus bas depuis plus d'un an. Le 3 août a marqué la dixième journée du second décompte de 42 jours au Libéria pour être déclaré exempt du virus.


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Guinea, Italy, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America

    SUMMARY

     There were 2 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the week to 2 August: 1 in Guinea and 1 in Sierra Leone. This is the lowest weekly total to have been reported since March 2014, and marks a third consecutive decline in weekly case incidence. This decline is underpinned by continued refinements to all elements of the response. In particular, strengthened capacity for contact tracing and case investigation has increased confidence that the few remaining known chains of transmission are better understood and controlled than was the case several months ago. Maintaining these resources in the months ahead will be critical, as there remains a significant risk of further transmission and an increase in case incidence in the near and medium term. Almost 2000 contacts remain under observation across 5 prefectures in Guinea and 4 districts in Sierra Leone, and despite intensive efforts a small number of contacts in both countries have not been traced or have been lost to follow-up. In addition, recent high-risk transmission events in Guinea and Sierra Leone are very likely to result in further cases in the coming weeks.

     Illustrating the continuing challenges, the single case reported from Guinea is a contact who was lost to followup, and who is likely to have generated a substantial number of further high-risk contacts. The case, a 28-yearold woman, is a registered contact associated with a known chain of transmission that has given rise to several generations of cases in the Ratoma area of the capital, Conakry, over the past several weeks. After being lost to follow-up the case travelled south from Conakry through Forecariah and into Kambia, Sierra Leone, where she reportedly visited a traditional healer, before returning to Ratoma via Forecariah. Intensive efforts are underway to identify and trace all contacts in Guinea and Sierra Leone. 1080 contacts remain under follow-up in 5 western prefectures in Guinea, with the vast majority (>90%) of contacts located in Conakry and Forecariah.

     An interim analysis of the Ebola ça suffit! ring vaccination trial in Guinea suggests that the investigational rVSVZEBOV Ebola vaccine protects people exposed to EVD. The trial will continue in Guinea, with all rings around confirmed cases now receiving immediate vaccination. Previously, rings were randomly allocated to receive either immediate vaccination or vaccination 21 days after the confirmation of a case.

     No new cases were reported from Liberia in the week to 2 August. All contacts have now completed their 21-day follow-up period. The last case was discharged after testing negative for EVD for a second time on 23 July.

     In Sierra Leone, the case reported this week is one of over 600 contacts generated by the single case reported in Tonkolili the previous week (the index case). The new case is a family member who provided care to the index case. Over 40 contacts are considered to be at high risk of infection because of the nature of their contact with the index case, and there is a high probability that further cases will arise. Investigations into the source of infection of the index case, who is thought to have acquired infection in Freetown before traveling to Tonkolili, are still ongoing. Across the country a total of 811 contacts remain under follow-up, with the vast majority located in Tonkolili. All contacts associated with known chains of transmission in Kambia have now completed the 21-day follow-up period, although intensive efforts are underway to identify any contacts associated with the case reported from Ratoma, Guinea, in the week ending 2 August.

     For the first time in 3 weeks, no health worker infections were reported from any of the affected countries. There have been a total of 880 confirmed health worker infections reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone since the start of the outbreak, with 512 reported deaths


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    Source: Government of Sierra Leone, UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response
    Country: Sierra Leone


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, World

    Paris, France | AFP | Wednesday 8/5/2015

    All the ingredients for the west African Ebola outbreak are still there one year after a public health emergency was declared, the head of medical charity Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday.

    "The Ebola epidemic in west Africa is far from under control," according to Joanne Liu, who heads the aid body known as MSF, after its French name Medecins Sans Frontieres.

    Cases are still reported weekly, new communities are being infected, and bodies are still being buried in secret -- a major problem for a disease transmitted though direct contact with body fluids, she wrote in a comment published in the science journal Nature.

    "All the ingredients that enabled last year's devastation are still with us: rainy seasons, an uncoordinated response, fear and distrust," Liu said.

    MSF's volunteer medical personnel were key in the international response to the epidemic which has infected about 28,000 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since late 2013, and killed more than 11,000.

    Liu said "fatigue and waning focus" were prolonging the epidemic.

    The number of cases in the past three months -- about 330 -- was "more than the third largest Ebola outbreak in history", she pointed out.

    Liberia, declared "Ebola free" in May, reported six new cases in June. And 20-27 cases have been confirmed in Guinea and Sierra Leone every week from mid-June to mid-July.

    Cases have emerged in Guinea's Boke province, on the border with Guinea-Bissau -- a country with a weak health system and "almost non-existent epidemiological surveillance and blood-testing capacity," said Liu.

    Also of concern was that governments and aid agencies had still not won the trust of communities, causing people to hide their sick and dead.

    The goal is to have no new cases in the three countries for 42 days -- double the incubation period of the haemorrhagic fever virus, and the cut-off for the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the epidemic over.

    But this would require "a major push," said Liu.

    "Ministries of health and aid agencies must do more to engage and empower communities...  and to re-establish people's trust in government officials and health workers," she wrote.

    "The surveillance systems to locate and track new Ebola cases across Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia need to be properly supported -- including in the districts that have not had an Ebola case for months."

    And basic health infrastructure, left in tatters by the epidemic, must be rebuilt.

    "We need to push through the fatigue and complacency and put everything we have learned into action to end this epidemic," Liu said.

    "We must finish the fight against Ebola."

    A UN-appointed panel of experts reported last month that the WHO had been too slow in its response to the outbreak, and recommended "fundamental change".

    The outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013. The WHO declared a global public health emergency on August 8 last year.

    mlr/mh/mfp

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    This is the first situation report from the Interagency Collaboration on Ebola.

    This report replaces situation reports previously produced by UNMEER.

    KEY POINTS

     In week ending 2 August, two confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported: one in Guinea and one in Sierra Leone. This is the second week in a row that new case numbers have been in single digits.

     On 31 July, the UN Secretary-General announced the completion of UNMEER’s mission and commencement of WHO’s responsibility for oversight of the UN system’s Ebola emergency response in West Africa as of 1 August.

     WHO and partners have reported that they are on the verge of an effective vaccine against EVD.

    Operations developments

     On 31 July, UNMEER closed having achieved its core objective of scaling up the response and establishing unity of purpose among responders in support of nationallyled efforts. As of 1 August, WHO is responsible for oversight of the UN system’s Ebola emergency response under the direct authority of the WHO Director-General. To maintain the high-level, dedicated UN leadership needed to get to and sustain zero cases, the UNMEER Ebola Crisis Managers will remain in the countries under the oversight of WHO and with the support of the UN Resident Coordinators and UN country teams. David Nabarro, the Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Ebola will continue to provide strategic guidance for the response. UN agencies, funds and programmes, OCHA, the UN Mission in Liberia and national and international partners have undertaken the necessary steps to enable a seamless transition.

     The High Level Panel on Global Response to Health Crises arrived in Conakry on 2 August. While in Guinea, they met with the Prime Minister and key partners. The Panel will be in the region till 6 August and will also travel to Sierra Leone and Liberia. The High Level Panel, appointed by the UN Secretary-General, is expected to make recommendations on how to strengthen national and international systems to prevent and manage future health crises. These recommendations will take into account lessons learned from the response to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease.


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    Genève, Suisse | AFP | mercredi 05/08/2015 - 20:40 GMT

    La Guinée et la Sierra Leone ont enregistré chacune un nouveau cas seulement d'Ebola la semaine dernière, a annoncé mercredi l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé qui a toutefois appelé à maintenir la vigilance.

    Lors de la semaine précédente (du 20 au 26 juillet), les deux pays avaient enregistré sept nouveaux cas, un plus bas niveau depuis plus d'un an en Afrique de l'Ouest.

    Malgré ces résultats encourageants, l'OMS a mis en garde mercredi contre "les espoirs irréalistes" de voir l'épidémie, qui a déjà fait environ 11.300 morts depuis fin 2013, disparaître d'elle-même.

    Le nouveau cas rapporté en Guinée, dans la capitale Conakry, est une femme de 28 ans qui était recherchée car elle avait été identifiée comme ayant été en contact avec un malade atteint du virus, a précisé l'OMS.

    Avant d'être enfin localisée, cette femme a voyagé dans le pays, notamment dans le sud-est à Forecariah et même en Sierra Leone voisine, à Kambia, où elle aurait consulté un médecin traditionnel, faisant craindre d'éventuelles contaminations parmi les personnes côtoyées pendant ce trajet.

    Quant au nouveau cas recensé en Sierra Leone la semaine dernière, il s'agit d'une personne qui a prodigué des soins à un membre de sa famille atteint par la fièvre hémorragique, toujours selon l'OMS.

    Dans ces deux pays, quelque 2.000 personnes ayant été en contact avec des malades d'Ebola font l'objet d'un suivi mais un nombre limité de personnes dans le même cas n'ont pas été identifiées ou manquent à l'appel.

    "La réponse (à l'épidémie) s'améliore, assurément, et l'épidémiologie le montre bien", a déclaré à la presse le Dr Bruce Aylward, responsable de la lutte contre Ebola pour l'OMS.

    Mais, a-t-il averti, "nous aurons de nouvelles flambées, et cela pourrait durer encore plusieurs mois, avant que l'épidémie ne soit stoppée", insistant sur la nécessité de retrouver tous les contacts de malades d'Ebola pour espérer en finir avec l'épidémie.

    M. Aylward a rappelé la situation récente du Liberia, qui après avoir été déclaré exempt de l'épidémie en mai, a vu la fièvre hémorragique réapparaître un mois plus tard.

    Sur les six cas confirmés au Liberia depuis le 29 juin, deux sont morts et les quatre autres sont sortis de l'hôpital, le dernier le 23 juillet. Le pays se retrouve à nouveau avec zéro cas connu.

    L'épidémie d'Ebola en Afrique de l'Ouest, la plus grave depuis l'identification du virus en Afrique centrale en 1976, partie en décembre 2013 du Sud guinéen, a fait plus de 11.300 morts pour quelque 27.500 cas, un bilan sous-évalué, de l'aveu même de l'OMS.

    Plus de 99% des victimes se concentrent en Guinée, en Sierra Leone et au Liberia.

    nl/fal

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: UN Security Council, UN Department of Public Information
    Country: Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

    CONSEIL DE SÉCURITÉ
    CONFÉRENCES DE PRESSE

    La Représentante permanente du Nigéria auprès des Nations Unies, Mme Joy Ogwu, qui préside le Conseil de sécurité pour le mois d’août, a présenté à la presse, cet après-midi, au cours d’une conférence de presse au Siège de l’ONU à New York, le programme de travail mensuel de cet organe.

    Elle a précisé que les travaux de ce mois s’articuleront autour de trois priorités et sujets interdépendants: la lutte contre l’épidémie causée par le virus Ebola, le rôle des organisations régionales et sous-régionales pour faire face aux défis mondiaux et la réforme du secteur de la sécurité.

    L’Ambassadeur Ogwu a ainsi annoncé la tenue, le 13 août, d’un débat sur la paix et la sécurité en Afrique dans le contexte de la lutte contre Ebola, en souhaitant que cet échange soit l’occasion de mettre l’accent sur le rôle des organisations régionales et sous-régionales dans la lutte contre des épidémies, comme celle qui a frappé plusieurs pays africains au cours de l’année écoulée, et surtout les conséquences économiques et sociales de ces épidémies. Elle a aussi annoncé la tenue, le 18 août, en présence du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, M. Ban Ki-moon, d’un débat sur le rôle des organisations régionales et sous-régionales pour faire face aux défis sécuritaires. Elle a souhaité que ce débat permette de reconnaître que ces organisations présentent l’avantage de mieux connaître et comprendre les réalités sur le terrain et qu’elles soient ainsi mieux appuyées pour jouer un rôle efficace dans la prévention et le règlement des crises ou conflits. Enfin, Mme Ogwu a indiqué que le Conseil de sécurité tiendra, le 20 août, un débat sur la réforme du secteur de la sécurité que sa délégation avait présentée au Conseil en avril 2014, lors de sa présidence du Conseil. L’inscription de cette question à l’ordre du jour du Conseil de sécurité s’était traduite par l’adoption, le 28 avril 2014, de la résolution 2151, a-t-elle rappelé.

    Depuis cette date, a déclaré l’Ambassadeur Ogwu, la présidence du Conseil par le Nigéria souhaite contribuer à créer un monde plus pacifique. « Nous avons le sens du devoir et de grande responsabilité », a-t-elle dit avant de souligner les contradictions qui marquent l’actualité mondiale avec, d’un côté, la transition pleine d’espoir entre les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement (OMD) et les objectifs de développement durable (ODD) et, de l’autre, une intensification des conflits avec un nombre record de personnes déplacées dans le monde.

    La Présidente du Conseil pour le mois d’août a particulièrement mis l’accent sur l’importance des organisations régionales, en rappelant que ces organisations, créées au départ pour favoriser l’intégration économique, étaient de plus en plus amenées à faire face à des crises. Elle a émis l’espoir que le débat du 18 août sera l’occasion d’insister sur la coopération entre l’Union africaine et l’Union européenne avant d’appeler les États Membres à venir présenter les apports spécifiques, voire uniques, de leurs organisations régionales.

    Répondant à des questions de journalistes, la Président du Conseil a indiqué que la question de Palestine sera traitée dans le cadre de l’exposé d’ensemble sur le Moyen-Orient le 19 août. Elle a cependant précisé que le Conseil de sécurité n’avait pas prévu de se rendre à Gaza. Elle s’est dite confiante que les négociations israélo-palestiniennes pourraient reprendre cet automne. En réponse à des questions sur l’absence de référence à EIIL et Boko Haram, elle a indiqué que le Conseil n’excluait pas l’examen de questions imprévues à ce jour, tout en insistant que la communauté internationale demeurait active chaque jour pour lutter contre ces fléaux. S’agissant des armes chimiques en Syrie, elle a indiqué qu’une prochaine conférence de presse au cours de ce mois sera l’occasion de faire le point sur ce sujet qui fait actuellement l’objet de négociations bilatérales.

    À une question sur la position du Conseil de sécurité concernant la participation éventuelle du Président du Soudan, M. Omar Al-Bashir, au Sommet de l’ONU en septembre prochain, elle a répondu qu’il appartenait au pays hôte, en l’occurrence les États-Unis, de lui délivrer un visa pour lui permettre d’y prendre part. Elle a précisé par ailleurs que ni le Président du Nigéria, ni son Ministre des affaires étrangères n’avaient prévu de se déplacer à New York pour présider une réunion du Conseil de sécurité.

    Outre l’adoption d’une résolution le 21 août pour renouveler le mandat de la Force intérimaire des Nations Unies au Liban (FINUL), le Conseil de sécurité prévoit aussi d’entendre des exposés sur la situation des missions de maintien de la paix en Centrafrique, demain 5 août; au Kosovo, vendredi 21 août; au Soudan du Sud, mardi 25 août; en Libye, le 26 août; au Moyen-Orient et en Guinée-Bissau, le 27 août. En outre, Mme Joy Ogwu a indiqué que le débat de synthèse, prévu le 31 août, permettra aux délégations invitées de passer en revue leurs priorités, de faire le point sur les avancées et l’impact du Conseil de sécurité sur les défis communs.

    À l’intention des organes d’information • Document non officiel.


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    Source: Government of Sierra Leone
    Country: Sierra Leone


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone


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    Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Summary:

    • March-April 2014: Ebola outbreak first detected in Guinea; National Ebola Task Force established in Sierra Leone.

    • DREF of CHF 113,217 issued on 7 April to support the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society to respond to the Ebola outbreak.

    • May 2014: First Ebola case reported in Sierra Leone near the border with Guinea, with rapid caseload spread as a result of the movement of health care workers.

    • June 2014: IFRC Field Assessment and Coordination team (FACT) deployed (rapid assessment);
      Emergency Appeal launched for CHF 880,000.

    • July 2014: IFRC Appeal revision n° 1 issued for CHF 1.36m; Emergency Response Units deployed to establish the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kenema with extraordinary DREF allocation of CHF 1m.

    • September-October 2014: with confirmed caseload spiralling out of control and twelve out of thirteen districts affected; IFRC issues Appeal revision n° 2 for CHF 12.9m, followed by revision n° 3 for CHF 41.1m.

    • March 2015: Appeal revision n° 4 issued for CHF 56.75m.


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    Source: Government of Sierra Leone, World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Executive Summary

    This evaluation has been carried out to assess the food security situation in both the affected and non-affected communities in the aftermath of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, and it took place just a couple of months after the country began to experience a decline in the incidence of new cases.

    However, the findings of the survey suggest that the international and local trade disruptions and the ban on public gatherings imposed by the Government to contain the spread of the virus adding to the fear of both contracting the virus and of social discrimination, have affected the livelihoods of Sierra Leoneans at the detriment of their food security situation without distinction. As such, during the lean season (May-August) millions of people could face serious difficulties to access food if some form of assistance does not reach them in time.

    How many people are food-insecure?

    The food security situation is chronically poor in Sierra Leone. At the time of the survey it was affecting 2,580,000 people, corresponding to 43 percent of the population, of which 7 percent (420,000 people) are severely food insecure. This situation implies:

    • a poor food consumption, based on cereals, oil and some vegetables and a few more commodities for almost half of the population (i.e.: 45 percent of the households);

    • the adoption of more frequent and more severe detrimental coping strategies that deplete households’ assets and erode the most vulnerable livelihoods. In particular, 8 percent of households use stress strategies (like borrowing money or selling household assets), 19 percent use crisis strategies (like selling productive assets) and a strikingly high 32 percent use emergency strategies (mostly begging); and

    • a high economic vulnerability which translates into an excessive share of households total expenditures account for by food purchases. For example, for 45 percent of the households food represents more than 65 percent of total expenditures, leaving little space to other needs.


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    Source: Government of Sierra Leone
    Country: Sierra Leone

    DISCHARGED CASES

    • Total Survived and Discharged Cases = 4,043

    NEW CASES

    • New Confirmed cases = 0 as follows:

    Kailahun = 0, Kenema = 0, Kono = 0
    Bombali = 0, Kambia = 0, Koinadugu = 0, Port Loko =0, Tonkolili = 0
    Bo = 0, Bonthe = 0, Moyamba = 0 Pujehun = 0
    Western Area Urban = 0, Western Area Rural = 0, Missing = 0

    CUMULATIVE CASES

    • Cumulative confirmed cases = 8,695 as follows:

    Kailahun = 565, Kenema = 503, Kono = 253
    Bombali = 1,049, Kambia = 253, Koinadugu = 109, Port Loko = 1,484, Tonkolili = 456
    Bo = 314, Bonthe = 5, Moyamba = 209, Pujehun = 31
    Western Area Urban = 2,284, Western Area Rural = 1,164, Missing = 14

    CUMULATIVE DEATHS

    • Total cumulative confirmed death

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    Source: Mail and Guardian
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Fatimatu was dead. Mohamed Conte, a member of the Red Cross Ebola burial team, had lowered her corpse into the ground. But when he returned to the van to take off his protective clothing, she stood defiantly in front of him, an apparition.

    “‘Isn’t that Fatimatu?’ I shouted to my colleagues. But they couldn’t see her,” Conte said.

    The psychological effect of Ebola on aid workers, coupled with community stigmatisation, has left many of them to suffer alone, with some being driven to self-harm and alcoholism.

    Ebola has killed more than 11 000 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Unsafe practices, such as washing the deceased, have contributed to up to 80% of new Ebola cases, according to the World Health Organisation.

    In Sierra Leone, where the number of new cases is considerably lower than at the epidemic’s peak in 2014, the government says Ebola teams must continue providing safe and dignified burials for all, regardless of whether they had Ebola.

    Since July last year, the Red Cross has buried more than 18 500 people in Sierra Leone while Smart, a consortium of Christian charities also working on Ebola, has buried about 16 000 people in the West African nation.

    The teams regularly walk more than 16km a day, crossing rivers in the rainy season with heavy equipment on their backs to reach remote villages. The physical toll on their bodies deepens the mental scars.

    Physical and emotional toll

    In January 2014, an internal study commissioned by Smart strongly recommended individual counselling for all Ebola burial staff; soon after, they began training frontline workers in psychological first aid.

    “As the Ebola crisis enters its second year, the stress of this difficult, sometimes dangerous, work can take a physical and emotional toll,” said Leslie Scott, national director of World Vision, Smart’s lead agency.

    Augustine Lansana, a 24-year-old student, was traumatised when he had to bury his friend on Christmas Day. The images terrorised him for months to come.

    “Friends you used to work with, friends you used to play with. You carry them in a body bag, put them on a stretcher and dump them in a grave, never to be seen again,” said Lansana.

    “Now, I go with alcohol just to forget myself. I can’t sleep and I have no appetite. And at times, people say I look like a violent man, because I have no smile,” he said.

    Zena Awad, a psychologist from the Swedish Red Cross on a mission to Sierra Leone, said reactions to stress are similar whether in a conflict zone or during an epidemic, and have to be dealt with early to stop any negative behaviour becoming the norm.

    An initial group of 35 Red Cross staffers have gone on a three-day course on how to provide support to colleagues using positive coping mechanisms such as eating healthily, sleeping well, taking time to unwind and identifying a friend to turn to.

    “Without this, they might turn to negative coping mechanisms such as substance use, violence, unprotected sex and other risk-taking behaviour as a result of not knowing how to deal with traumatic experiences,” said Awad, who said the first 35 will pass on what they learned to members of their teams in local offices.

    Mariama Manneh, a 24-year-old tourism student, signed up when she saw how many women were dying from Ebola. She woke up most nights, afraid of retribution from the corpses she buried. But help was at hand.

    “I don’t regret joining the burial team, because I get a lot of support from my colleagues. We crack jokes, and help each other through. The people I work with are more than friends, they’re like brothers,” said Manneh.

    However, Awad says, much more needs to be done, including the creation of a referral system and full psychological support for serious cases as well as the reintegration of burial teams into their communities so they can return to having a normal life.

    Conte, Lansana and Manneh feel abandoned by friends and families and the nights are still tough. But it has not all been in vain.

    “The government has recognised our service to the nation and even though our communities stigmatise us, they also respect the important work that we are doing on their behalf, and that makes me proud,” said Conte. – © Guardian News & Media 2015.


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, World

    Contents

    393 Laboratory response to the West African Ebola outbreak 2014–2015

    397 Plans for containment of poliovirus following typespecific polio eradication worldwide, 2015

    Sommaire

    393 Réponse des laboratoires à l’épidémie d’Ebola en Afrique de l’Ouest, 2014 2015

    397 Plans pour le confinement des poliovirus après l’éradication de la poliomyélite par type spécifique à l’échelle mondiale, 2015


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    Source: World Health Organization
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    Freetown, Sierra Leone – 7 August 2015: When people who survive Ebola virus disease leave the Ebola treatment unit (ETU), everybody celebrates. However, emerging from the ETU is just the beginning of their long, hard journey to regain health.

    New research shows survivors most commonly face severe joint pains, eye problems leading to loss of vision in some cases, severe fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, and mental health challenges after recovery from acute Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). However, there are very limited data on the types and frequency of the various reported health problems, or the best practices for clinical management.

    “We have never had such a large number of survivors. This is very new. We have a unique and important responsibility to provide care and support for Ebola survivors trying to restart their normal lives. It is increasingly clear that emerging from an ETU is just the beginning. The countries affected by Ebola also have a long road to recovery,” says Dr Anders Nordstrom, WHO Representative for Sierra Leone.

    This was among the conclusions of a scientific meeting on the needs of survivors held by the World Health Organization in Freetown, Sierra Leone with clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists, and other public health practitioners. Their goal is to produce a ‘Comprehensive Care Plan for EVD Survivors’ and identify research needed to optimize clinical care and social well-being.

    Participants shared their experience and data, identified gaps in clinical services, and discussed ways to overcome them, including the provision of technical expertise and the necessary infrastructure. They looked at ways to advance networks, improve access to clinical care for survivors, share ongoing research data and identify key knowledge gaps.

    The unprecedented outbreak of Ebola that began in West Africa in December 2013 has had a devastating impact on the region. Over 13,000 EVD survivors are estimated to live in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone today.

    “It is an emergency within an emergency,” said Dr Daniel Bausch of the WHO clinical care team. We have to help people not just survive but thrive. ”

    While building EVD survivor care services is an urgent need, Dr Nordstrom pointed out that all the affected countries themselves are in effect survivors of the Ebola outbreak and health systems have to be built up to permit people to not just recover, but thrive .

    “The Ebola outbreak has decimated families, health systems, economies, and social structures. All need to recover.” said Dr Nordstrom.

    For more information
    Dr Margaret Harris,
    Communications Officer
    Email: harrism@who.int
    Phone: +41796036224

    Ebba Kalondo
    Communication Officer
    Email: kalondoe@who.int
    Phone: +232 76 533284


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Freetown, Sierra Leone | AFP | samedi 08/08/2015 - 10:24 GMT

    Le président sierra-léonais Ernest Koroma a annoncé vendredi la levée de nombreuses mesures de restriction prises pour lutter contre l'épidémie d'Ebola dans un pays qui ne compte plus officiellement que quatre cas confirmés.

    Le dirigeant sierra-léonais a déclaré, dans un message radiodiffusé vendredi, qu'"à cette étape de la lutte contre l'épidémie, certaines mesures ne sont plus nécessaires. Le gouvernement lève les restrictions suivantes avec effet immédiat".

    Rassemblements publics et activités sportives sont de nouveau autorisés, discothèques et salles de projection vidéo peuvent rouvrir, tous comme les étals de marchés ou les commerces, à l'exception du dimanche.

    "Les okada (motos-taxis) pourront circuler de 06H00 à minuit" a ajouté le président. Leurs activités n'étaient autorisées que de 06H00 à 22H00.

    Ernest Komora a appelé les entreprises à suivre scrupuleusement tous les protocoles de prévention du virus Ebola, comme "la prise de température des employés et des clients ou la gestion de foules", sous peine de sanctions.

    Et il a ajouté: "Au regard des défis auxquels nous sommes toujours confrontés, comme les inhumations à risque ou la mise en quarantaine de nombreux individus, potentiellement en relation avec des patients atteints du virus, je proclame l’état d'urgence conformément à la loi".

    "Ces deux dernières semaines, nous avons enregistré trois cas d'Ebola à Tonkolili (nord) pourtant épargné depuis 150 jours. 500 personnes demeurent sous surveillance dans cette zone", a-t-il dit, appelant à maintenir la vigilance face à "une épidémie dévastatrice".

    "Moins de restrictions ne signifie pas qu'Ebola a disparu. La menace diminue mais Ebola n'est pas complétement éradiqué", a tempéré le président.

    La Sierra Leone comptait encore officiellement quatre cas d'Ebola, selon un bilan du ministère de la Santé publié vendredi.

    "Je suis ravi de la réouverture des salles de projection vidéo car je vais pouvoir regarder les matches du championnat d'Angleterre qui démarre samedi", a affirmé Brima Turay, 25 ans et inconditionnel de football.

    Partie en décembre 2013 du Sud guinéen, l'épidémie d'Ebola en Afrique de l'Ouest, la plus grave depuis l'identification du virus en Afrique centrale en 1976, a fait plus de 11.300 morts pour quelque 27.500 cas, un bilan sous-évalué de l'aveu même de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS).

    Plus de 99% des victimes se concentrent en Guinée, en Sierra Leone et au Liberia.

    rod/mrb/jop/jhd

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Agence France-Presse
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Freetown, Sierra Leone | AFP | Saturday 8/8/2015 - 09:05 GMT

    Sierra Leoneans can go to sporting events and nightclubs for the first time in more than a year, after health officials declared there had been progress in rolling back a deadly epidemic of Ebola.

    The measures "are no longer deemed necessary at this stage of the fight against Ebola," President Ernest Bai Koroma announced Friday.

    However, Koroma warned: "The easing of restrictions is not a sign that Ebola is over. It is not. The risk has receded, but Ebola has not fully retreated."

    People in the west African country will now be allowed to attend public gatherings and take part in "general activities", Koroma said.

    But the president reminded businesses to continue observing "all Ebola prevention protocols, including temperature screening of employees and customers and the prevention of overcrowding".

    Ebola has claimed around 11,300 lives since late 2013, nearly 4,000 of them in Sierra Leone.

    In its latest update, the health ministry listed four confirmed cases of the highly contagious hemorrhagic fever nationwide with only two transmission chains.

    Nine of the country's 14 districts have not recorded a confirmed case in more than 110 days.

    rmj/mrb/gd/ri

    © 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse


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    Source: Oxfam
    Country: World, Guinea, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Vanuatu, Yemen

    Oxfam helped almost a third more people caught up in humanitarian disasters in 2014-15 as it responded to an unprecedented number of emergencies including the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and ongoing conflicts in Syria and South Sudan.

    The organisation supported 8.1 million people across 39 humanitarian disasters over the year, providing clean water, sanitation and food, compared to 6.1 million across 24 emergencies in 2013-14.

    The increase in Oxfam’s work was made possible by the public’s generous support in response to an increasing number of humanitarian emergencies, including four emergency appeals for Ebola in West Africa, the crisis in Gaza, Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

    Oxfam’s Annual Report released today reveals income rose to £401.4m, up £12m or 3% percent. Income from public fundraising increased by 2.5 percent to £100.8m.

    In total, Oxfam directly helped 11.8 million people both in humanitarian emergencies and through its longer term programmes.

    Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s Chief Executive said: “Oxfam has been stretched responding to natural disasters, the terrifying Ebola epidemic and people left vulnerable by conflicts. The amazing generosity of the British public made it possible for us to help over 8 million people during times of disaster last year.

    “The earthquake in Nepal and a surge in fighting in Yemen show that this year could be just as challenging. Increasing food prices, the impact of climate change and ongoing conflicts continue to threaten the lives of poor people the world over. Oxfam campaigns for change and works on the ground, putting in place long-term, sustainable solutions to improve opportunities for the world's most vulnerable communities.

    “Public support is vital to enable us to continue this work. We are still a long way from being able to respond to all the needs and demands we come across."

    Income from Oxfam’s shop network was down slightly by 2.5 percent to £22.9m as a shortage of high-quality donated goods and an unseasonably warm autumn ate into sales, especially of adult clothing.

    Andrew Horton, Oxfam Trading Director said: "The pressure people have felt on their household incomes means people are buying fewer new clothes and other items, which has a knock-on effect on the quantity and quality of donations to our shops. We need people to donate any unwanted clothes, books and home wares to Oxfam.

    “Although income from our shops fell slightly despite the great work from our 23,000 volunteers, we’ve reduced our trading costs over the last year so an even greater proportion of the money raised by the sale of donated items goes to support our work saving lives in emergencies and helping people to escape poverty.”

    Oxfam reduced its fundraising and administration costs last year, meaning 84 pence in every pound donated went to emergency, development and campaigning work.

    In 2014-15, vulnerable people around the world continued to be hit hardest by disaster.

    Oxfam’s Even It Up campaign focused on growing inequality which will soon see the world’s richest 1 percent own more than the remaining 99 percent.

    Oxfam also highlighted how the world’s poor are suffering the effects of climate change, partnering with other organisations in the Climate Coalition to call for action on climate change and an end to the use of coal.

    As well as influencing the policies and practices that affect huge numbers of people, Oxfam has directly helped 11.8 million people in the last year including helping:

    • 4,100,000 people access clean water
    • 1,250,000 people benefit from improved sanitation facilities, greatly reducing the spread of disease
    • 2,100,000 people benefit from the distribution of food, cash or vouchers, enabling them to survive in a crisis
    • 250,000 farmers negotiate better prices for their goods in more markets
    • 500,000 people improve their crops and services, boosting livelihoods
    • 100,000 people benefit from innovative ways to tackle climate change
    • 320,000 women be aware and able to stand up for their rights
    • 310,000 people actively participate in campaigns to lobby for specific goals

    The Oxfam Annual Report 2014/15 will be available to download at, www.oxfam.org.uk/accounts

    ENDS

    For further information and interviews with Chief Executive Mark Goldring contact Sarah Grainger in the Oxfam press office sgrainger1@oxfam.org.uk / 01865 472089 / 07810 181514 or Meg Pruce mpruce1@oxfam.org.uk / 01865 472240 / 07824 824359

    Notes to editors:
    The Annual Report for the 12-month period ending 31 March 2015 was released today; Monday 10th August 2015.

    Oxfam's overall income for 2014/15 was £401.4m. In 2013/14 its overall income was £389.1m.

    Oxfam is a global humanitarian, development and campaigning organisation working with others to overcome poverty. From life-saving emergency response to life-changing development projects and campaigning for lasting change, Oxfam works in over 90 countries as part of the Oxfam International confederation to tackle poverty at its roots.

    Oxfam has one million supporters in the UK. For every £1 donated, 84p is spent on emergency, development and campaigning work, 8p is spent on support and governance and 8p is invested to generate future income. Oxfam has nearly 700 high street shops across the UK selling donated fashion, books, music, home wares and new ethical products. It is supported by a workforce of 23,000 volunteers. Oxfam also launched the UK's first online charity shop in 2007.

    Oxfam GB is affiliated to Oxfam International, a global confederation of 18 independent Oxfams that share the same purpose.

    Sarah Grainger Press Officer, Oxfam GB Tel: +44 1865 472 089 Cell: +44 781 018 1514 Skype: sarah.grainger Email: sgrainger1@oxfam.org.uk


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Sierra Leone

    Weekly Highlights

    • IOM monitors together with the Passenger Welfare Organization (PAWEL) have begun to make routine monitoring visits to the 47 border crossing points manned by RSLAF personnel along the Guinea border in Samu, Bramaia and Gbileh Dixon chiefdoms, Kambia district.

    • IOM is sustaining its Magazine Wharf outbreak response support to 8 Peripheral Health Units into week 7.

    • IOM clinicians in collaboration with the Ebola Response Consortium are providing Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training support at Connaught, Princess Christian’s Maternity and Ola During Children’s Hospitals and have now trained 416 hospital personnel.

    • In collaboration with MOHS and ERC partners, IOM Health Screening Advisory Teams (HSAT) have begun optimizing health screening systems at Ola During Children’s Hospital as of 5 August. A second team will be deployed to Princess Christian Maternity Hospital within the next 2 weeks.


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    Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Resident Coordinator for Liberia
    Country: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

    HIGHLIGHTS

    • Principled partnership between Government and humanitarian actors results in effective response in the new Ebola outbreak.

    • Government calls for enhanced monitoring of health centres and swabbing of all bodies at funeral homes.

    • Prepositioning by partners and Government contributes to success of Margibi response.

    • Protection partners form the Protection Partners Forum to ensure continued monitoring of protection concerns in the country.

    • UNMEER officially closes operations in Sierra Leone and Guinea


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