West Africa

Ebola - Can you quarantine West Africa?

NEW YORK, 20 October 2014 (IRIN) - Since the death of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan in Texas on 8 October and the Ebola infection of two US nurses that treated him, there have been increasing calls by US lawmakers to ban travel from the countries most affected by the virus - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. full report

Ebola hits West Africa food security

KENEMA/FREETOWN/DAKAR, 20 October 2014 (IRIN) - West Africa's Ebola outbreak, which has been disrupting agricultural and market activities, threatens to erode food security and negatively affect the livelihoods of millions of already vulnerable people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone unless more is done to meet their immediate food and nutritional needs, say aid agencies. full report

Is Freetown fighting a losing battle against Ebola?

FREETOWN, 16 October 2014 (IRIN) - On the return trip to Freetown from Kenema a couple of days later we meet Laventa Konneh in Moyambo town, the only person allowed to leave her house because the town is in lockdown and she is a contact tracer. full report

Ebola workers urge safety, solidarity

NAIROBI, 14 October 2014 (IRIN) - Hanna Majanen summed it up best: "It is the things you do automatically that are difficult. People will touch their face, rub their eyes and bite their fingernails. These are the things you forget.” full report

Day in the life of a Kenema Ebola treatment centre

KENEMA, 14 October 2014 (IRIN) - We’re heading to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) Ebola treatment centre 15km out of Kenema town in eastern Sierra Leone. It’s known locally as the “Ebola camp” because it’s made up of a dozen or so white tented structures set up outside. It is surrounded by lush green forest and mountains loom in the distance. full report

No justice, no peace for northern Mali

BAMAKO, 13 October 2014 (IRIN) - Thousands of northerners who experienced human rights abuses during the occupation of Mali’s north are struggling to find redress amidst concerns that a climate of impunity is continuing and the government’s control in many areas of the north is at best shaky. People in the north were exposed to forced disappearances, torture, summary executions and sexual abuse, with most of the offences committed after March 2012 when Islamist extremists occupied large parts of territory. full report

Close-up to Ebola: Sierra Leone blog

KENEMA/FREETOWN, 10 October 2014 (IRIN) - We set off by jeep from the capital Freetown for Kenema, 240km away. While there are Stop Ebola posters all over the capital, we see very few en route. Every 15 minutes or so we’re stopped at an Ebola monitoring checkpoint to have our temperatures taken and to wash our hands in chlorinated water. Thirteen in all - it’s enough to make anyone paranoid. full report

Ebola effect reverses gains in maternal, child mortality

MONROVIA/FREETOWN/KENEMA, 8 October 2014 (IRIN) - Maternal and infant deaths in Liberia and Sierra Leone are set to rise above their current alarming rates as fear of Ebola keeps pregnant women away from hospitals and makes already-scarce health workers reluctant to deliver babies. full report

Dire conditions for Nigerian refugees in Cameroon

MAROUA, 6 October 2014 (IRIN) - Thousands of Nigerians who have fled attacks by Islamist militant group Boko Haram are crowded into Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon’s Far North Region, living in increasingly squalid conditions and at risk of contracting measles and other diseases, according to relief agencies. full report

Ebola and Sierra Leone – money is the easy bit

LONDON, 2 October 2014 (IRIN) - In the incongruously sumptuous setting of London's historic Lancaster House, representatives of governments and humanitarian organizations listened in silence as a British nurse, Will Pooley, recently recovered from Ebola, evoked the squalor of the Ebola wards in Kenema where he had worked, and told of the painful deaths of two Sierra Leonean children he had befriended, a young brother and sister. full report