Sierra Leone-Health-Ebola

Sierra Leonean leader admonishes 49 Ebola survivors

APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone)

Sierra Leoneans President Ernest Bai Koroma Monday urged 49 people released from an Ebola treatment center outside Freetown to serve as ambassadors to let members of their communities know that the deadly hemorrhagic fever is real but that it also does not mean automatic death when one is infected.

The survivors were released at a ceremony in Hasting, a small township outside Freetown, where a treatment center was recently opened and is run by local doctors. President Koroma, who presided over the ceremony, said it also showed all was not lost for the country. He was nonetheless concerned for what awaits the survivors in their respective communities, warning that no one should discriminate against them. Behind its successes in churning out a high survival rate of Ebola infected - 478 as of Monday - Sierra Leone, one of three West African countries battling the disease, has had the difficulty having these people accepted back into the community. The situation is even more precarious for orphans who are often left with no one to take care of them. President Koroma said this goes against the advice of experts and said survivors are even safer than those who have not been infected. The President promised that his government was looking for ways to provide help for the growing number of Ebola orphans.

KC/daj/APA

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