Link: Ebola Digest Wed 11 March
As 2015 rumbles on, and even as the epidemic abates somewhat, we'll continue to run these regularly for the time being - the link to the most recent edition of the regular Ebola Digest.
There's a huge amount of info in this excellent resource and we suggest you check out the source. In the meantime we've reproduced the country-specific section of their news digest below, in the hope it may be of particular interest and use to our readers. Today's article image: "Recovered Ebola patient Beatrice Yardolo, center, surrounded by Chinese military health workers, as she leaves a Chinese Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, on Thursday."
WSJ--The nation won't be declared 'Ebola-free' until it goes 42 days without a single case. Liberia's last confirmed Ebola patient danced out of a clinic on Thursday, a symbolic moment as West Africa cautiously anticipates the end to the epidemic.
PBS--The Liberian government has closed and dismantled a crematorium in Monrovia in a move that represents significant progress in the country's fight against the disease, the Associated Press reported. The country had previously imposed cremations because traditional burial practices, which included washing and touching the dead, pose a significant danger of infection.
OxFam--Schools in Liberia have been closed nationwide since August 2014. Some reopened on 16 February 2015 and the majority were supposed to reopen on 2 March 2015. Oxfam and the President of Liberia calls for a $60.5 million upgrade of the nation's schools to help protect against future outbreaks of Ebola.
It is evening in the St. Paul Bridge neighborhood of Monrovia, and a team of "contact tracers" is meandering through dirt lanes between colorfully painted houses. The tracers — whose job it is to find and monitor anyone who came into contact with an Ebola patient — used to come just twice a day to this community of cinder block houses, which stretches down either side of the main road that heads north out of the Liberian capital. Now they spend all day and sometimes much of the night here.
The National Civil Society Ebola Response Task Force is on an assessment mission in Grand Cape Mount County to ascertain whether the Ebola safety protocols announced by the Ministry of Education are being applied. In January, the Education Ministry announced a code of protocols for a safe learning environment in all schools prior to the reopening of schools.
NYT--It seemed as if the Ebola crisis was abating. New cases were plummeting. The president lifted travel restrictions, and schools were to reopen. A local politician announced on the radio that two 21-day incubation cycles had passed with no new infections in his Freetown neighborhood. The country, many health officials said, was "on the road to zero." Then Ebola washed in from the sea. Sick fishermen came ashore in early February to the packed wharf-side slums that surround the country's fanciest hotels, which were filled with public health workers. Volunteers fanned out to contain the outbreak, but the virus jumped quarantine lines and cascaded into the countryside, bringing dozens of new infections and deaths.
IFRC--"My nickname is Happy Shower," smiles Jestina Boyle, the Red Cross psychosocial assistance volunteer at the Kenema Ebola treatment centre in eastern Sierra Leone. Through Jestina's encouragement and counselling skills, more patients are experiencing the so-called 'happy shower' which is what survivors go through before crossing the threshold of the restricted high-risk area back to the normal world. The happy shower is an affirmation that they have survived this vicious virus and are washing away the disease.
Government of Sierra Leone
As Sierra Leone looks to rebuild after the Ebola epidemic, it may be forced to diversify from a mining-heavy economic base. Falling iron ore prices and the effects of Ebola on the industry signal the need for change, according to the chairman of the Chamber of Mines, who said the diversification could be beneficial.