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24 Oct 2014
IOC News

Swift response from NOC of Sierra Leone aids fight against Ebola

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has commended the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Sierra Leone for supporting the United Kingdom’s Joint Ebola Task Force in setting up an Ebola treatment facility with immediate effect in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

An official from the UK Joint Ebola Task Force said hundreds of lives could potentially be saved as a result of the swift approval by the NOC, coordinated by the IOC, to allow work to begin on the site at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET). Earlier this year, the Sierra Leone NOC started work at the college on its Olympic Africa project to develop sporting infrastructure in the country. The project includes a 400-metre athletics track, football pitch and facilities for other Olympic sports such as tennis, volleyball, basketball and aquatics.

The UK Government has plans to build six Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone, one of the countries hardest hit by the recent outbreak of the virus, which has already claimed over 4,500 lives in seven affected nations (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States of America).

According to the United Nations, as of last week, a total of 9,216 probable, confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported in the seven countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes Ebola as a virus that causes an acute, serious illness that is often fatal if untreated (average fatality rate is around 50 per cent). The current outbreak is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the disease was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than in all others combined.

For more information on Ebola, please visit the UN’s Global Ebola Response website.

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