The Minister of Information and Communications Hon. Alhaji Alpha Kanu officially launched the Mathasaka Ebola Treatment Unit in Port Loko on Saturday 13 November, 2014 increasing the number of treatment centres in the District to three with a bed capacity of 203. The edifice which was constructed by the British under the supervision of GOAL has the capacity to accommodate 100 Ebola infected patients and can also produce 300 laboratory results per day.
Taking rounds of the facility, the Minister noted that the centre is magnificent and equip enough to speed up the process of releasing laboratory results of patients thereby quickly distinguishing those that are infected with the virus from those that are sick of other diseases.
The Hon. Minister observed that the District is fully ready to rid the virus off its perimeters due to the increasing number of treatment and holding centres in the District.
He underscored the need for suspected cases to be taken out of their communities into holding centres to keep the communities safe, noting that the Chiefs are crucial in that regard and encouraged them to search for the sick in their respective communities and bring them to the holding centres where they could be treated as they await their laboratory results.
He said with the increasing number of holding and treatment centres in the district the people should no longer allow the virus to hold them to ransom stating that by the end of December the virus could have been defeated.
The District Medical Officer Dr. Adikali Alpha Kamara noted that the Mathasaka Ebola Treatment Unit is a milestone in the fight against the virus in the district and assure GOAL, who will be in charge of the centre, of their fullest support. He assured them that there is going to be a collaborative effort to ensuring that the common goal of eliminating the virus is achieved.
The Director for the Ebola Case Management Committee, Dr, Wurie said due to the construction of the centre, patients in the district now have far better chances to survive the virus if they report for treatment as early as possible. He disclosed that monitoring gadgets will be installed to monitor patients from the green zone and will further ensure that only staff with Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) will be allowed to enter the red zone in order to maximize staff safety.
GOAL Senior Manager and Project Director for Ebola Treatment Centre, Fiona Gannon congratulated the Minister and people of Port Loko for their effort in supporting the construction saying that the completion of the edifice is a tribute to the Minister and his family for his untiring effort in supporting the construction since it started. She applauded every stakeholder of the district for their role in the work.
The manager for the Mathasaka Ebola Treatment Centre, Emmanuel Yambasu applauded the Minister and other stakeholders in the district for their relentless effort in making the construction of the center a reality. He said the Minister has been following their work since the construction started and commended him for that. He also expressed his regards for the members of the community whom he said have not in any way hindered their work since the construction started.
In another engagement, the Minister of Information and Communications facilitated the immediate opening of the Gbanelul Holding Centre in the Kafu Bullom Chiefdom with a 16 bed capacity whilst on a working visit to the holding centres in the Lokomasama and Kafu Bullom Chiefdom.
The Paramount Chief of Kafu Bullom Chiefdom, Bai Sheboro Sheba Gbre the 3rd informed the Minister about his decision to temporarily withdraw the staff of the section Chief of Mayaya village for allowing people to breach the By-Laws created to enhance the fight against the Ebola Virus. He said most of the cases in his Chiefdom are coming from that part because the Chief allows people to cross in from Menika in the Lokomasama Chiefdom to his village of Mayaya in the Kafu Bullom Chiefdom.