Why are we there?
- Endemic/epidemic disease
- Health care exclusion
February 12, 2015
Since the Ebola outbreak began in March 2014 in Guinea, it has claimed 9,152 lives (as of February 12). The outbreak has spread far beyond Guinea, and is now raging unabated. A total of four countries have been affected: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
Currently, MSF has over 1,900 staff (157 international staff; 1,750 national staff) responding to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.
The number of admissions to the MSF Ebola treatment centers (ETC) remains low, with Kailahun and Bo having reached zero patients admitted. However, in all districts outreach activities, surveillance, social mobilization, and training remain a priority.
Sierra Leone: Latest MSF Updates
- Alive Again: A Survivor’s Account of Life After Ebola
- Life After Ebola
- MSF's Month in Focus: March 2015
- The Ebola Outbreak One Year Later
This is an extract MSF's 2013 International Activity Report:
MSF has begun reorienting its work to focus on improving medical care for children and its capacity for diagnosing Lassa fever.
More than a decade has passed since the end of the civil war, but Sierra Leone is still recovering. Health care gaps are systemic and nationwide, and access to quality health care remains a major challenge for the population. Although the government initiative offering free health care to pregnant women and children is improving access, many people still die from treatable diseases such as malaria, measles, acute respiratory infection, and Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever endemic in the country.
In Bo district, MSF runs the Gondama referral center, a 220-bed hospital offering emergency pediatric and obstetric services. In 2013, ambulances transported patients from nine community health centers to the hospital, and an additional ambulance service took patients with Lassa fever to Kenema hospital for treatment. MSF also supports Gondama health center, a nearby clinic run by the Ministry of Health, with staff, medicines, and medical materials.
MSF plans to build a 160-bed hospital closer to Bo town that will provide better access for patients, staff, and supplies. The new, more spacious facility will also allow for better infection control protocols, and will include a proper isolation ward and a modern laboratory.
At the end of 2013, MSF had 619 staff in Sierra Leone. MSF has worked in the country since 1986.
Jenneba, 26 years old
“This is my third pregnancy. I have had two miscarriages before. Last night I felt pain, so an ambulance picked me up from the health center and took me to Gondama. The nurse in the ambulance held my hand and talked to me nicely during the ride.
The nurses at the hospital examined me and said that I wasn’t in labor yet. I am still in pain and very worried about what is happening. If I lose this baby, I am worried that my husband will leave me.”
Jenneba’s son was born by cesarean section 10 days later.