America's top diplomat notes Sierra Leone's "Amazing Show of National Unity"

From Charge d'Affaires
Kathleen FitzGibbon
Dated: September 21, 2014

The House-to-House Ebola Talk campaign continues throughout the country and is an amazing show of national unity. Sierra Leoneans have embraced the effort and are welcoming the dialogue. The radio stations are playing Ebola-related songs, public service announcements, and discussions with experts.

The people I have spoken to feel that something needed to be done to bring information about Ebola to arm each household for the ongoing battle.

Operationally, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the World Health Organization, World Food Program, United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF, MSF, and other international non-governmental organizations are working around-the-clock to get those seeking treatment into centers and testing and providing proper burials to corpses being found.

This has not been an easy task and we will have a better idea of what the challenges countrywide are after the districts have an opportunity to report in.

President Koroma participated in the Emergency Operations Center meeting on September 20 and asked that he get an unvarnished report on the outcomes and challenges of the exercise. During the campaign, a new holding/treatment center was established at the Police Training Center at Hastings.

Emergency Hospital has done a great job staffing Lakka, which is newly opened and now full.

Connaught continues its heroic work as well. The new U.S./ECHO-funded International Federation of the Red Cross facility is now open in Kenema, but slowly building up its capacity to take more patients. The key to stopping the virus is isolating victims and getting them treatment.

This coming week, it will be important to build on what we learned from this three-day period to mount an even stronger attack on the virus.

Source: U.S. Department of State: Embassy Freetown, Sierra Leone ©

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