Monday, September 1, 2014

Sudan bans reporting on Ebola – healthcare workers go on strike at Ebola center in Sierra Leone


The Extinction Protocol | Sept 1, 2014

August 2014AFRICA – The Sudanese authorities have prohibited local media from covering any news related to the Ebola virus. Press sources who asked not to be mentioned for security reasons confirmed to APA on Saturday that the security authorities have circulated warning to all media outlets not to publish any news or articles related to the transmission of the Ebola virus in Sudan. The prohibition came after local media reported on some suspected cases of Ebola in the west of Sudan. The Minister of Health Affairs for the Darfur Regional Authority, Firdos Abdel Rahman Yousif denied reports of the deadly Ebola virus disease in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur State. The Sudan News Agency quoted the minister as saying the suspected case had come from Abeche in Chad. The patient suffered from hemorrhagic fever, began taking treatment from the health center, and was then transferred to a hospital in El Geneina, she claimed. The Ebola epidemic has killed over 1, 400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since its outbreak in West Africa in February. Over 2, 500 people are infected by the virus in the region according to the World Health Organization. –Star Africa

Healthcare workers strike: Health workers have gone on strike at a major state-run Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone over pay and poor working conditions. “The workers decided to stop working because we have not been paid our allowances and we lack some tools,” Ishmael Mehemoh, chief supervisor at the Kenema clinic in the country’s east, said. Mr. Mehemoh said clothing to protect health workers being infected was inadequate and there was only one broken stretcher to carry both patients and corpses, increasing the risk of infection. In a further sign of strained resources, nurses and members of the burial team at Kenema said the government had stopped paying their wages of $US50 a week. Sierra Leone has only one other Ebola treatment centre, however the World Health Organization (WHO) shut the laboratory this week and withdrew staff from the Kailahun facility after one of its health workers caught the virus there. The country’s government is struggling to cope with the worst Ebola outbreak in history which has killed more than 1,550 people across West Africa, with the rate of infection still rising.

More than 120 health workers have died from the virus across the region. In Kenema 26 staff members have already died from Ebola, following the death of physician Sahr Rogers. “It is with a deep sense of sadness that we have lost one of our finest physicians in the line of duty at a time like when we need a lot of them to help in out fight against Ebola,” Sierra Leone’s new health minister Abubakarr Fofana said on Saturday. His predecessor, Miatta Kargbo, was sacked the previous day over her handling of the Ebola outbreak.  Transmitted through the blood, sweat and vomit of the infected, Ebola has spread quickly among health care workers who often lack the equipment to protect themselves from the virus. -ABC

90 day ban on sex: The West African Postgraduate Medical Colleges {WAPMC} and the Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association {SLMDA) have suggested to government that sensitization slogans should indicate that male patients who have recovered from EVD would need to wear condoms or abstain for up to ninety (90) days. The Ebola virus has been found to be an active agent in male semen for up to 7 weeks. Furthermore, both bodies when they called on President Koroma, last week, indicated that they should “build a “fire wall” around “slums” and over populated areas and organize the community to participate in health education and social mobilization on EVD control.”Both bodies also called for basic training and preventive supplies for all established clinics and hospitals whether government, NGO based, faith-based, private or otherwise. Apart from radio and TV phone-in and text- in of questions and answers, we need dedicated telephone lines manned by knowledgeable persons to answer questions and concerns of the public even if only for 12 hours a day say from 7am to 7pm, they emphasized. -Awoko

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