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Ebola center in Sierra Leona under guard after protest march

Umaru Fofana. Ebola center in Sierra Leona under guard after protest march. Reuters, Sept, 2014.
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Police were guarding an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone on Saturday, the day after thousands marched on the clinic following allegations by a former nurse the deadly virus was invented to conceal "cannibalistic rituals" there, a regional police chief said... Residents said police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds and that a 9-year-old boy was shot in the leg by a police bullet. Assistant Inspector General Alfred Karrow-Kamara said on Saturday the protest was sparked by a former nurse who had told a crowd at a nearby fish market that "Ebola was unreal and a gimmick aimed at carrying out cannibalistic rituals". He said calm had been restored to Kenema on Saturday, adding that a strong armed police presence was in place around the clinic and the local police station. Some health workers from the clinic have been reported absent from work because of "misconceptions by some members of the community," according to a local doctor... The WHO said previously that poor health infrastructure and a lack of manpower were hindering efforts to contain the outbreak in Sierra Leone. Another problem is fear and mistrust of health workers among the local population, many of whom have more faith in traditional medicine.

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