Sierra Leone to start laying off Ebola workers as cases fall

2015-04-02 08:18

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Freetown - Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma said on Wednesday authorities would soon start laying off staff recruited to fight Ebola as the number of cases decline, but these workers would be employed elsewhere, where possible.

Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone are battling to stamp out the worst Ebola outbreak on record, which has killed over 10 000 people during the last year.

Addressing the country about the outbreak, Koroma said the infection rate was falling "week by week" and the number of treatment facilities and staff would be reduced, despite the need for continued vigilance.

"For those who will be laid off because of the scaling down of facilities, let me express my sincere thanks to you for your brave national service to your country," he said. No details were given on how many people would be laid off.

Valuable knowledge and skills

At the peak of the crisis last year, authorities were struggling to recruit local and foreign medics to tackle Ebola, which has killed nearly 500 local health workers in West Africa, according to United Nations statistics.

Sierra Leone began paying staff $100 per week hazard pay but Koroma said that has been ended.

"Because you have all done a good job, because you have also gained valuable knowledge and skills that are forever now required in this country, the government is working towards providing employment and absorbing some of you into the service as soon as possible," he said.

Schools that were closed in July last year are due to re-open on April 14th and tuition fees will be waived in public schools for the next two years, he said.

82 new cases

The leaders of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have set 16 April as a target for no new cases.

Despite an overall trend showing the disease is coming under control, the UN figures released on Wednesday showed a total of 82 new cases in the region during the week to 29 March.

Guinea, which appears to be the worst affected at this time, saw an increase in the number of areas recording Ebola, with seven prefectures reporting at last one confirmed case.

Guinea has declared a 45-day state of health emergency in the prefectures of Forecariah, Coyah, Dubreka, Boffa, and Kindia.

Read more on:    un  |  sierra leone  |  health  |  west africa  |  ebola

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.