New WHO Regional Director Commends Sierra Leone in the Fight against Ebola

Freetown, Feb. 23. 2015 (MOHS) – The newly appointed World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has commended Sierra Leone for the current progress in the fight to contain the Ebola virus disease noting the dramatic increase of cases in December 2014.

monWHO Regional Director Dr. Matshidiso Moeti

Speaking during a courtesy call on the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah at his Youyi Building office in Freetown, the WHO Regional Director Dr. Moeti noted that the potential challenges that manifested during the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are lessons for her institution to be able to respond to future outbreaks in the region.

She reiterated that December 2014 was worrisome but very impressed now with the encouraging situation to getting into zero infection through the relentless efforts of the leadership of the country, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the government and partners.

mon1(From extreme left) Dr. Moeti WHO Regional Director and team

Dr. Moeti noted that the Health Ministry is moving in the right direction working on a Recovery Plan to get a resilient health system within the Ministry’s National Strategy to sustain infrastructures health workers, equipment and other essential logistics for its Post Ebola drive. She expressed sympathy and condolences on behalf of her organization to the bereaved families, and the government for the death of the huge number of health workers and other citizens affected by the disease.

Making his response, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah said government and partners are for the past few weeks following the trend of the epidemic with the focus on getting into zero infection. “We will continue to chase the last case”, Dr. Fofanah opined.

mon2Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah

The fight to contain the Ebola virus disease to this current level, Dr. Fofanah said was a turbulent moment with an unprecedented commitment by government since the disease was “mysterious” and new to a country with a weak health system.

He described the epidemic as the biggest to affect three countries at the same time in West Africa and lauded WHO Country Office, the international community and other local and international partners for scaling up efforts in the fight to end the pandemic.

The Minister in a related development, made a Presentation to the Regional Director and team in the Ministry’s conference hall at Youyi Building on the Ebola Outbreak, focussing on the gaps, emergency preparedness, major constraints which included logistics, infection prevention control, low beds capacity, limited diagnostic facilities, weak human resource, and the move to building a functional resilient health system that would restore trust, community ownership and seeks the Agenda for Prosperity for Post Ebola Sierra Leone.

JAK/KK/MOHS