Sierra Leone has been declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organisation, prompting nationwide celebrations tinged with sadness over the 4,000 lives the virus claimed.
Freetown was transformed into a giant carnival on Friday night as ecstatic crowds took to the streets of the capital in an outpouring of emotion.
In a moving ceremony in Freetown on Saturday morning, the WHO’s country director, Anders Nordström, confirmed that 42 days had passed without any new cases, thereby satisfying criteria that the virus was no longer being transmitted.
A speech by Yusuf Kamara, a healthcare worker who lost 16 members of his family and survived the disease himself brought tears and a standing ovation.
“For us, Ebola is not over. We need your help to treat the many many health problems we still suffer from. And remember those who died at the hands of Ebola, and especially the children who have ben affected by this outbreak,” Kamara said. Read more