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  • Paramount Chief Charles Caulker

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC), Major (Rtd.) Alfred Paola Conteh, on Wednesday 3rd December, 2014, disclosed that US$1.2 million has been sourced by his office for the 149 Paramount Chiefs in the country.

Making the disclosure at the usual mid-week news conference held at the Special Court room, the CEO maintained that Paramount Chiefs are very instrumental in the fight against Ebola.

The money, according to Major (Rtd.) Alfred Paolo Conteh, is meant to get the Paramount Chiefs up and running in their continued fight against the Ebola disease, though he did not explain the methods of distribution.

He added that the money would be controlled by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The CEO emphasized that the eyes of the world have been focused on Sierra Leone as a result of the visit of the World Bank representative in the country, Dr. Jim Yung Kim, whose purpose was based on the fulfillment of the 70-70- 60 goal set to end the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD).

“We welcome the timely intervention of the World Bank experts in the Ebola fight as this is a significant milestone given us as a country for their support as well as knowing where we are and how far we have gone,” Major (Rtd.) Alfred P. Conteh said.

The CEO also briefed the media about the Central for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research findings on the EVD since mid- October.

According to the report, the study shows the significant reduction in the stigmatization of survivors to 13%, one-third vigilance in burial team and 10% respondent to treatments in hospitals. 

The CEO said the study shows that Western Area has had increased rate of EVD transmission due to negative attitudes.

He therefore asked for more social mobilization in the various communities to achieve behavioural change, noting that even though it is working, yet people are still stubborn.

The CEO maintained that the number of holding and treatment centres has improved with over 400-bed facilities available.

Kerry Town Treatment Centre is currently 8-plus bed facilities with Save the Children UK up to their feet as well as over 4000 workers being trained by the British team to work at the treatment centres, according to the CEO.

Major (Rtd.) Alfred P. Conteh also disclosed the visit of the World Health Organization (WHO) team at the Freetown International Airport from Guinea for an Ebola situational assessment and stock taking regarding the fight so far.

He furthered that 2.8 million Pounds Sterling funding has been doled out by the British Government thereby increasing the burial teams from 50 to 90 nationwide.

Major (Rtd.) Alfred P. Conteh also disclosed that the Nigerian doctors who have arrived in the country would be deployed nationwide by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

The CEO informed that the sensitization message for the coming week is “celebrating survivors”.