Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Thousands break Ebola quarantine to find food

Thousands of people in Sierra Leone are being forced to violate Ebola quarantines to find food because deliveries are not reaching them, aid agencies said. Large swaths of the West African country have been sealed off to prevent the spread of Ebola, and within those areas many people have been ordered to stay in their homes. The government, with help from the U.N.’s World Food Program, is tasked with delivering food and other services to those people. But there are many “nooks and crannies” in the country that are being missed, said Jeanne Kamara, Christian Aid’s Sierra Leone representative.
Food is becoming scarce, which has led to prices increasing beyond the reach of ordinary people.
Jeanne Kamara, Christian Aid’s Sierra Leone representative
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed nearly 5,000 people, and authorities have gone to extreme lengths to bring it under control, including the quarantines in Sierra Leone. Similar restrictions have also been used in Liberia and Guinea, the two other countries hardest hit by the epidemic. The World Health Organization said much more is needed to battle the outbreak. There are currently 16 treatment centers up and running, and 58 more planned. To staff those centers, 500 foreign health care workers and 4,000 national ones are still needed.
The quarantine of Kenema, the third-largest town in Sierra Leone, is having a devastating impact on trade—travel is restricted so trucks carrying food cannot freely drive around.
President Ernest Bai’s address to political leaders in Sierra Leone