"The beginning of the end of Ebola" in Sierra Leone

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Tarik Jasarevic, WHO Spokesperson. Credit: UN File Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

For the first time in over a year, there are no people in Sierra Leone being treated for the Ebola virus and no other confirmed cases in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

This 'milestone' was marked on Monday with a ceremony celebrating the release of the country's final Ebola survivor from treatment.

Siobhán Garside has more.

Surrounded by singing and dancing health workers, Adama Sankou —the last Ebola case in Sierra Leone— left the Makheni Ebola treatment unit on Monday.

WHO reported that the country's President, Ernest Bai Koroma, described her release as "the beginning of the end of Ebola," although he acknowledged that continued efforts must be made in fighting the disease.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic confirmed the importance of this milestone.

"The last Ebola patient has been released from the treatment centre after being tested negative twice, as per normal procedures. Today we are starting the count-down of 42 days to incubation period, so hopefully if there are no new cases, we would have an end to the Ebola transmission."

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa began in March 2014, resulting in more than 11,000 deaths.

According to WHO, it is the largest and most complex outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered four decades ago.

Siobhán Garside, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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