Serious Ebola challenges remain in Sierra Leone

Ebola Outbreak

The U.N. has said that parts of Sierra Leon will miss the targets it set to curb the spread of Ebola, including getting 70 percent of victims to treatment facilities and ensuring 70 percent of burials were conducted safely by December. CCTV America’s Katerina Vittozzi reported this story from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Abubakar Bangura, 26, is a trainee pharmacist who runs a booth in Freetown that shares information about Ebola prevention, including what people should if someone in their home is sick, and how to have a safe burial and funeral service.

He said he tries to answer questions as best he can.

“Most of times, they ask you when this epidemic is going to end. And we just tell them to be patient and to at least cooperate with the government and health professionals and be hopeful. And by god’s grace, everything will be over,” Bangura said.

Eight months have past since the outbreak, and raising public awareness about how to prevent Ebola is still high on the agenda of national government and international response groups. However the World Health Organization warned that Ebola transmission in Freetown remains intense.

While social media has been used to education people on sites like Facebook and Twitter, Internet penetration is low in Sierra Leone compared to other countries in west Africa, so messages and campaigns via radio are key.

“I listen to the radio, and the advice that they give through the radio. They also come out on the streets, people from health organizations, and they talk and tell us how we can protect ourselves,” a resident said.