AP Photo/Aurelie Marrier d'Unienvil
Sierra Leone was officially declared Ebola free this Saturday after going 42 days without a new case. The criteria by which a country is declared Ebola free is set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The 42-day period is set as it is twice the “maximum incubation period for Ebola infections”
The WHO held a ceremony on Saturday celebrating Sierra Leone being Ebola free. It was held in the capital Freetown proceeded by a vigil along with dancing until midnight.
Dr. Anders Nordstrom, WHO representative in Sierra Leone said, “the Ebola virus has been stopped in Sierra Leone,” reported Ebola Deeply. “Forty two days – that is, two Ebola virus incubation cycles – have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test.”
This day has been widely celebrated, not only in Sierra Leone but among the international community. 18-months the country was battling the virus disease which killed thousands upon thousands and contributed to an estimated GDP loss of $1.4billion reported Save the Children UK.
The people and government of Sierra Leone are now charged with trying to rebuild their health system.
In early September the Sierra Leone government released a new healthcare initiative launching the Health Recovery Agenda for post Ebola.