Updated on 22 September 2014
Sierra Leone completes the three-day nationwide shutdown, conducted to contain Ebola cases
Singapore: As a measure to end the Ebola menace, Sierra Leone had called for a three-day nationwide shutdown confining six million people to their homes.
Though the shutdown yielded good results, criticism grew that the extreme action aimed at containing the spread of the deadly virus, was just a mere publicity stunt.
Almost 30,000 volunteers had conducted a door-to-door campaign to educate locals and give them soap, in an exercise that may lead to the discovery of infected patients and bodies at their home.
Mr Joe Amon, health and human rights director at New York-based advocacy organization 'Human Rights Watch', described the shutdown as "more of a publicity stunt than a health intervention."
He added that real crisis communication was needed at this juncture. Mr Steven Gaoja, head of the Sierra Leone government's emergency Ebola operation center said, "Though we had problems on the first day, on the whole we came out successful. We feel confident that the initial problems we encountered have been slashed."
Some experts however feel that the campaign teams were not successful in educating people about the virus. Mr Abubakarr Kamara, from the Health for All Coalition, a local charity, said, "From my observation, many of them were too young to be involved in the exercise and in one or two households, there were hardly any messages given to the families which were beneficial to the households."