Schools across the country opened on 14 April 2015, with some 1.8 million students expected to return. There were intensive preparations with multi-sector involvement including Education, Social Mobilization, Logistics, Health and WASH to prepare for the safe reopening. Teachers have been trained, and hygiene and school preparation kits were distributed to all schools with the support of UNICEF.
During March, WFP provided food and nutritional support to over 200 patients in Ebola Treatment Centers (ETCs) and Community Care Centers (CCCs). WFP also continued to provide over 800 caretakers of EVD patients with food supplies. Upon discharge, 44 survivors were provided with one month of food assistance. Additionally 8,917 individuals were provided with one month of food assistance to ensure their basic food needs were met during their quarantine period. WFP is also working with partners to streamline the response to quarantined homes so that assistance is delivered in a timely and unified manner.
In response to a request from the NERC to UNMEER, work commenced on fully renovating two abandoned classrooms at Police Training School 1 (PTS1) in Hastings (Western Area) as an off-site quarantined location for high risk contacts. Along with the renovation, the buildings were fitted with new water tanks, showers and toilets. Doors, windows, floors were repaired and 31 beds and mattresses were provided.
With effect from 1st April 2015, the number of contact tracers operating in the districts was reduced from 4,956 to 1,163.
The UK has been working closely with the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) to build on President Koroma’s announcement of a new Social Services Delivery Pact at the Brussels Conference. At the President’s request, the UK has been supporting key line ministries to develop a clearly prioritized and costed early recovery plan focused on re-starting essential services safely, and defining associated delivery mechanisms and costs.
The second UNMEER national Information Management workshop was held in cooperation with the NERC. Advanced Excel training was given to more than 80 participants from the Sierra Leone Government, national and international NGOs as well as UN partners.
Results from the 3 day stay at home campaign suggests there was quality surveillance and extensive contact tracing, which indicates that the campaign was successful on social mobilization and outreach. However, contact tracing did not fully meet expectations due to the few numbers of people found to have EVD-like symptoms.
Operational ETCs have scaled down to 16 from 23 with approximately 500 beds currently available. There are 2 ETCs in the Eastern province, one in the Southern Province, 4 in the Northern Province and 9 in the Western Province. They are run by the MoHS, UK, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Save the Children, China, IFRC, Plan International, GOAL, Partners in Health, and other partners. Discussions are ongoing among partners and the government to scale down further the number of beds across the country.