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Sierra Leone releases its last Ebola patient, to start countdown to WHO Ebola-free declaration

ASSOCIATED PRESS by CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY    Aug. 24, 2015

MATENEH, Sierra Leone  — Health authorities in Sierra Leone released the country's last known Ebola patient from a hospital on Monday, a milestone that allows the nation to begin a 42-day countdown to being declared free of the virus that has killed nearly 4,000 people here.

Adama Sankoh, 40, centre, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease late last month stands with health officials the moment after she was discharge from Mateneh Ebola treatment center outskirt of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, Health authorities in Sierra Leone released the country's last known Ebola patient from the hospital on Monday, a milestone that allows the nation to begin a 42-day countdown to being declared free of the virus that has killed nearly 4,000 people here. (AP Photo/Alie Turay)

President Ernest Bai Koroma presented a certificate of discharge to Adama Sankoh, 40, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease late last month.

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The velocity of Ebola spread in parts of west Africa

THE LANCET by Kate Zinszer and others.                   Aug. 24,2015

In a speed outpacing control efforts, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in parts of west Africa spread across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone infecting an estimated 26 800 individuals and claiming more than 11 000 lives as of May 15, 2015.1 Mobile populations coupled with porous borders1,2 and commercial air travel patterns3 affected the frequency and breadth of Ebola virus transmission.

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With Many Ebola Survivors Ailing, Doctors Evaluate Situation

ASSOCIATED PRESS  by Carley Petesch              Aug. 23, 2015

DAKAR, Senegal --Lingering health problems afflicting many of the roughly 13,000 Ebola survivors have galvanized global and local health officials to find out how widespread the ailments are, and how to remedy them.

The World Health Organization calls it an emergency within an emergency. Many of the survivors have vision and hearing issues. Some others experience physical and emotional pains, fatigue and other problems. The medical community is negotiating uncharted waters as it tries to measure the scale of this problem that comes on the tail end of the biggest Ebola outbreak in history.

"If we can find out this kind of information, hopefully we can help other Ebola survivors in the future," Dr. Zan Yeong, an eye specialist involved in a study of health problems in survivors in Liberia, told The Associated Press.

About 7,500 people will enroll — 1,500 Ebola survivors and 6,000 of their close contacts — and will be monitored over a five-year period in the study launched by Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia, or PREVAIL.

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The role of civil society is very vital to strengthening good governance- State House Chief of Staff

THE PATRIOTIC VANGUARD   Aug. 20, 1015

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone --The Chief of Staff in the Office of the President Saidu Conton Sesay (pictured) has described the role of civil society as very vital in strengthening good governance in Sierra Leone.

He made this statement during a meeting with a consortium of civil society organizations Tuesday 18th August, 2015 at State House, Freetown. The purpose of the meeting was to work in collaboration with Office of the Chief of Staff in the implementation of the National Ebola Recovery Plan to enhance trust between citizens and government.

The Chief of Staff promised that his office is ready to work with civil society organizations in the implementation of the post-Ebola recovery plan not only to help establish public trust, but also keep informing each other about areas that need attention.

"The better society we have, the better the governance," Sesay said, adding that his office has posted two officers each to all districts - one facilitator and one analyst who will be engaging local councils to update them in detail. He expressed desire to meet with the consortium upon the return of officials assigned to the districts for better planning and understanding.

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Cheap Paper Test to Screen Patients for Ebola, Yellow Fever, Dengue

MEDGADGET                                                                                   Aug. 20, 2015

BOSTON --At the 250th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society this week, researchers from MIT, Harvard Med School, and the FDA are showing off a new field test that can quickly screen people for Ebola, yellow fever, and dengue. While the researchers don’t claim their technique to be as accurate as PCR and ELISA, it is nevertheless an excellent tool in poor areas of the world where these diseases tend to thrive.

The test doesn’t require any water or electricity nor any complicated and expensive equipment. It works similar to pregnancy tests, providing a color readout that signals whether a disease is detected that is easily readable by just about anyone.

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Ebola: What Happened

COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS  BY John Campbell
(Scroll down for Laurie Garett's essay "Ebola's Lessons.")

With a rapidly growing and urbanizing population, persistent poverty, and weak governance, Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to be the source of new epidemics that potentially could spread around the world. Understanding the disastrous response of African governments, international institutions, and donor governments to the Ebola epidemic is essential if history is not to be repeated yet again. That makes Laurie Garrett’s essay, “Ebola’s Lessons,” in the September/October 2015 issue of Foreign Affairs, essential reading.

The Ebola virus treatment center where four people are currently being treated is seen in Paynesville, Liberia, July 16, 2015. (Courtesy Reuters/James Giahyue)

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Ebola in Sierra Leone: after 4,000 deaths, outbreak all but over

THE GUARDIAN   by Sarah Bosley                              Aug. 20, 2015
FREETOWN--The long-running Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leoneis all but over after nearly 13,500 cases and almost 4,000 deaths, those fighting the disease believe.

             People celebrate being released from Ebola quarantine on 14 August 2015. Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP

The last case in Sierra Leone was an eight-month-old child, who was hospitalised nearly two weeks ago and died four days later.

None of the 29 people who had contact with the child and were moved from the densely packed Freetown slum of Magazine Wharf to a voluntary quarantine facility have so far shown signs of illness.

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As Ebola crisis ebbs for Sierra Leone, food insecurity gnaws at recovery

The deadly virus overwhelmed Sierra Leone's key agricultural district, leaving thousands of farms, and their farmers, abandoned. The impact of that lost harvest has shaken the economy — and its food supply.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR  by Ryan Lenora Brown                    Aug. 16, 2015

Kailahun, Sierra Leone —...Today, the Ebola virus appears to be in retreat. Massive tented treatment centers built by international donors stand vacant and ghostly across the countryside, unnecessary to cope with the single-digit numbers of new cases recorded in recent weeks. Schools, closed for nearly nine months, have reopened. On weekend mornings, Freetown’s Atlantic Ocean beaches are once again thronged with joggers, pick-up soccer games, and informal aerobics classes, as fears fade of passing Ebola through physical contact.

Lahai Momoh, a buying agent for cacao in the eastern Sierra Leonean town of Kenema, seen here talking on his cellphone in August 2015, says 2014 was the worst year of his career due to the country's Ebola outbreak.

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Sierra Leone lifts last major Ebola quarantine as cases recede

REUTERS    by Umaru Fofana                            Aug.15, 2015

ASSESSEBEH, Sierra Leone  - Sierra Leone lifted its last major Ebola quarantine on Friday as President Ernest Bai Koroma expressed confidence that the country would soon be free of the virus.

The more than 500 residents of the northern village of Massessebeh gathered in the streets, singing and waving palm branches, after Koroma cut a piece of tape used as a cordon.

"I am sure within August we will start counting the first 21 days of zero (new cases)," said Koroma, referring to the incubation period of the virus. "I believe we cannot go back, we can only go forward."

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http://news.yahoo.com/sierra-leone-lifts-last-major-ebola-quarantine-cases-082712750.html

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Some Ebola Survivors Still Suffer—And Doctors Don’t Know Why

SCIENCE    by  Katie  M. Palmer                      Aug. 15, 2015

For the communities in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia where Ebola took the greatest toll last year, the worst is over. After claiming 11,000 lives, the fatal virus has finally begun to retreat. Numbers of new Ebola cases are dwindling. But for some of the survivors—the 50 percent or so of the infected who pull through—Ebola’s effects still linger.

                            Ebola survivor Fayiah, 11, sits with her relatives in Monrovia, Liberia. Jerome Delay/AP

For the communities in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia where Ebola took the greatest toll last year, the worst is over. After claiming 11,000 lives, the fatal virus has finally begun to retreat. Numbers of new Ebola cases are dwindling. But for some of the survivors—the 50 percent or so of the infected who pull through—Ebola’s effects still linger.

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