STREET CHILD RAISE HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS AT STATUS OF QUARANTINED FAMILIES IN EBOLA-STRICKEN SIERRA LEONE
-Street Child staff report on ‘ebola-risk’ families in Bo and Lunsar: hungry, thirsty, traumatised and under armed guard ‘like dangerous criminals’
Street Child social workers delivering humanitarian aid to medically isolated households in Sierra Leone have registered serious human rights concerns over the conditions under which households are being quarantined.
The most alarming reports came from Bo and Lunsar where families considered an ebola risk to society are being kept under quarantine by armed guard.
Street Child’s teams were providing rice, condiments, water and other support, including buckets and chlorine to 43 quarantined households in Lunsar and Bo – the largest of which contained 34 dwellers, including children and the elderly.
Subsequent investigations into the situations of quarantined families in other locations in the country, including Freetown and the Western rural area, have confirmed similar accounts.
One quarantined householder told the team in Lunsar, “We have run out of food in the last three days. Nobody cares about our survival and are only concerned that we don’t transmit the virus to other members of the community. I have lost five members of my household and two of my daughters were taken away by health workers. No one is keeping me informed of how they are doing. I need to know if they are still alive.”