Sierra Leone

UNICEF responds to Ebola in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, one of the countries in West Africa affected by the largest Ebola outbreak in history, launched a three-day campaign to raise awareness of the disease and help prevent its further spread.


Community Care Centres: keeping the sick closer to home

Instead of sending Ebola patients sometimes hundreds of miles away, treatment and care are being established in the hardest-hit areas of Sierra Leone through construction of dedicated facilities and training of health workers.

BOMBALI DISTRICT, Sierra Leone, 20 November 2014 – “Well, we thank God for the Community Care Centres, but it’s not easy working here,” says nurse Josephine Conteh as she waits for the first patients to arrive at the new eight-bed care unit, known as a CCC, in the village of Pate Bana Mara in Bombali District, northern Sierra Leone.

More than 200 clinical health workers and hygienists have been trained to work in the 10 new CCCs established by UNICEF in Bombali District. Many workers come from the same communities they work in, part of an effort to bring isolation treatment and basic care closer to the village level. Read more about the CCCs

UNICEF backs a nationwide effort to reach every household with lifesaving information

An ambitious public information campaign aiming to reach every household in Sierra Leone with life-saving messages on Ebola took place 19-21 September in a bid to reduce the spread of the disease with the help of community members. UNICEF has provided the Government-led campaign with technical and financial support, including information materials.

“We have been sending life-saving messages through radio, TV and print, but it’s not enough,” said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Sierra Leone. “We need to take information to where people are.”

The Ose to Ose Ebola Tok initiative, which means ‘house-to-house talk’ in the Sierra Leonean local language, will see over 28,500 trained social mobilizers, youths and volunteers go to door-to-door to reach 1.5 million households and provide them with information on ways families can protect themselves against the Ebola virus disease and prevent its spread. Read more about the Ose to Ose Ebola Tok initiative

Related stories

In Sierra Leone, getting back to school – on the airwaves
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, 21 October 2014 – With schools closed throughout the country as a result of the Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone is bringing the classroom into students’ homes through the use of educational radio broadcasts.
At the end of a labyrinth of small streets in Freetown’s New England neighbourhood lies the home of 13-year-old Uleymatu Conteh. Normally this morning she would have made her way to school dodging the motorbike taxis and the market women selling fruits, sweets and bread. Instead, she is sitting on the floor of her home, listening to the radio and taking notes while leaning against a wooden stool.

Sierra Leone launches three-day, door-to-door Ebola prevention campaign
UNICEF backs nationwide effort to reach every household with lifesaving information

Photo essay: The end of Ebola begins at home
UNICEF supported a Government-led social mobilization campaign aimed at reaching every household in Sierra Leone with life-saving information on preventing further spread of the disease. A virus of opportunity, Ebola is preying on already weak health systems with outstripped resources and overworked personnel, as well as misinformation and fear.

Inside Sierra Leone’s campaign to stop Ebola
A volunteer with bright red hair explains how Ebola is transmitted, what the symptoms are and how to prevent it. Everybody listens in silence, even the youngsters. A woman in her twenties hanging out the laundry asks questions about the way Ebola is transmitted. Afterwards she starts screaming dramatizing a scene: “Do not touch me, do not touch me” whilst her mother chases her, stretching her arms, opening her palms, and touching her belly. The neighbours laugh. Humour is a common antidote in the face of this dreadful disease.

Read more about Ebola prevention on UNICEF Sierra Leone Facebook

© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1600/Bindra
On 21 September, a team of social mobilizers go door-to-door to speak with residents about protecting themselves against Ebola and preventing its spread, in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown.



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