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Thursday 8 December 2016

Sierra Leone celebrates as last known Ebola patient leaves hospital

David Kearns

Published 26/08/2015 | 21:15

Adama Sankoh (35), centre, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease being discharged Credit: AP
Adama Sankoh (35), centre, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease being discharged Credit: AP

Sierra Leone's last known Ebola patient has left the hospital, dancing down a red carpet with the president of the country cheering her on.

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"Adama Sankoh is feeling like a rock star - there were at least 100 people there, politicians, press, everyone wanting a photograph of her," said a spokesman for the International Medical Corps (IMC) in Makeni.

Ms Sankoh must test negative for 42 days before the World Health Organisation will declare Sierra Leone virus-free.

"It's been a very exciting day, people were really celebrating. This is a very important step towards ending the epidemic here in Sierra Leone," said Andres Nordstrom, who heads the country's WHO operations.

President Ernest Bai Koroma presented a certificate of discharge to Adama Sankoh, 40, who contracted Ebola after her son died from the disease late last month.

The survivor board at the Aspen Medical headquarters in Canberra Credit: Jeffrey Chan
The survivor board at the Aspen Medical headquarters in Canberra Credit: Jeffrey Chan

"The Ebola fight is not yet over — go and tell members of your community that," President Bai Koroma said.

"The work will continuing just as intensive to ensure that we are acting on all alerts in the country.

"We need now to continue to work to engage people, the communities, active surveillance to make sure that that whatever is potentially coming out we will then be able to contain rapidly."

The country of six million recorded almost half of the 28,000 total cases of Ebola in western Africa.

More than 4,000 Sierra Leoneans died from the virus.

The WHO declared Libera "free of Ebola virus transmission" in May, calling it at the time a "monumental achievement" for the country that saw the highest death toll from the outbreak.

Guinea remains the only western Africa nation still battling the virus.

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