From the moment the Ebola virus became endemic in Sierra Leon in 2013, the country has been in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis.
As the number of infected people in the country swelled to over a million, the situation in the capital of Freetown worsened, with people forced to sleep in public parks and schools.
Now, the number has grown to nearly three million.
This week, the world’s attention turned to a community of Sierra Leoneans living in a remote, mountainous area, in the middle of the country’s worst-hit zone, where people are forced to live on the edge of the city.
There, they are forced in groups of up to eight people, and there is no running water, power, or a toilet.
The community is also isolated and lacking basic healthcare.
But the community is still waiting to hear if Sierra Leone will be declared free of Ebola.
How will this affect the people living in Sierra Leoneses isolation?
There is an irony here.
Sierra Leone is a country where isolation is the norm, yet it has been declared free from the Ebola outbreak.
This is a good thing.
But we can’t just give people a blank check.
If they don’t get help, there will be people who die.
So it is essential that we provide care, which is why we are calling on the government to provide all the services, such as health and sanitation, as well as food and medicines, as quickly as possible.
Will people be able to go to work?
In Sierra Leone, there is an acute shortage of workers.
The country has had a very high number of deaths caused by the Ebola crisis, and a lot of people are not able to leave their homes, which means they will stay in the isolation, where they are unable to leave the house or go outside.
We need to make sure they are not put at risk by Ebola and also that they are able to stay safely.
Will there be any jobs?
The Ebola crisis has left a big hole in the workforce.
The jobless rate in Sierra leonese has risen from nearly 14% in April to nearly 27% by the end of June.
Many people are still out of work, and this is putting pressure on the local economy.
We are asking for all companies to give us all the workers they have available to work in SierraLeonese, so that we can start providing employment to people, so they can be self-sufficient.
We also want to give those companies that need workers the best possible facilities to help them transition back into employment.
We know that some businesses have already started re-employing their employees.
How can I help Sierra Leone cope with the Ebola epidemic?
Sierra Leone can only rely on its international partners, who have stepped up to provide health care, healthcare services, and other critical services, including transportation and healthcare.
If you are in Sierra LEonese and need help, we urge you to contact your local community centre, health department, or other government agency to find out more information.
SierraLeone is a joint project of the WHO and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The WHO is responsible for international cooperation, including coordinating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The International Federation is responsible and the WHO provides support for coordination and the implementation of the programmes and projects of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
For more information, visit www.who.int/who-engagement.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about Sierra Leone or this project, please contact us at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter at @SierraLeone.