In recent months we have tried to limit the damage of school closings because of Ebola. Even now we keep on working on our activities in the villages, using the radio system to give the lessons. Right now, this is the only way to overcome the obstacle of the aggregation ban in public places.
Government of Sierra Leone said it would reopen the country's schools by March 30, after a seven-month shutdown to limit the spread of the Ebola virus. "This news gives us more hope of seeing children at school soon", said Nicola Orsini, chief of AVSI in Sierra Leone, now working on activities of education in emergencies. "But there still is a long path ahead".
The President of Sierra Leone also announced weaker movement restrictions inside Sierra Leone. The restrictions for safety reasons will be reduced even in the west, the most affected by the epidemic, where shops will be again allowed to remain open until 6 pm.
This is because the virus spread is gradually improving, albeit slowly. And there was a good news also on January 13, after seven months of the epidemic in Sierra Leone. Pujehun District, in the south, on the border with Liberia, was the first Sierra Leone district to be declared ebola-free for more than 45 days, with no cases of infection observed in that period.
"This is an important signal against the epidemic, after a Christmas and the beginning of 2015 forced to stay at home. This is a small light at the end of the tunnel, which allows us to look to the future with a little more hope", said Ernest Sesay, president of the NGO FHM, member of the AVSI network, fighting since months against the epidemic.
AVSI Foundation is supporting people of Sierra Leone to face the consequences of the outbreak. At the beginning of the outbreak, AVSI's goal was to limit the spread of the virus, addressing the affecting communities through information and awareness activities and contact tracing operations. During the last months, AVSI's work focused on supporting families in quarantine, who cannot move from the hospitals, distributing food and water. But the biggest priority is to assist orphans whose parents have died of ebola.
AVSI is working in Sierra Leone since 2000, together with the local NGO Family Home Movement, with projects to support distance learning and the local education system. Now we decided to put our staff and our expertise to fight Ebola emergency.