Responding to the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola-free, ActionAid’s Head of Humanitarian Response, Mike Noyes said:
"This is the news we’ve all be working hard to reach and anxiously waiting for. It’s been a year and a half since the first outbreak of Ebola was reported in West Africa and today’s announcement that Sierra Leone has at last been declared Ebola-free a cause for celebration and optimism.
“Many people lost their lives or suffered life changing consequences in Sierra Leone as a result of this disease. Not just those killed by it but the others, such as pregnant women, affected by the collapse of already weak health care services."
ActionAid's work in the field preventing Ebola
Mike Noyes continued, “Since the outbreak, ActionAid has supported 583,000 people across both Liberia and Sierra Leone, through emergency response and prevention programmes. We’ve helped orphans and survivors, but also helped people across both countries understand the risks and take the precautions necessary to protect themselves and break the deadly cycle of transmission.
“However, with Guinea still recording new cases and the reports of ongoing medical complications that continue to affect many survivors across the world, now is no time for complacency. The communities, economies and health services of affected countries have been shattered and rebuilding these will take a long time. Poverty was at the heart of the impact of Ebola and tackling it remains key to preventing something similar happening again.
"We must continue to focus on the survivors, the women and children who were adversely affected in the crisis and whose lives were devastated by the deadliest virus of this century.”
How you can help
- For further information and interviews please contact Cora Bauer on 0778 789 7467 and at email@example.com
- To find out more about ActionAid's response to Ebola, read our blog: How handwashing helped bring Ebola under control
- To support ActionAid's work with children in Sierra Leone, please sponsor a child.
Photo: Kate Holt/ActionAid.