“OUR PEACE KEEPING TROOPS ARE ACTIVE AND PROVING WELL.”

“OUR PEACE KEEPING TROOPS ARE ACTIVE AND PROVING WELL”

Freetown, Sierra Leone, October 14, 2014 – The Commanding Officer of Joint Medical Unit (JMU) and Head of the 34 Military Hospital says all the personnel of the second Sierra Leone Battalion (LEOBATT 2) are active and proving well.

Colonel Dr Foday Sahr was reacting to the social media report that a LEOBATT 2 personnel had been infected with Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) and there was a move to quarantine all the troops. Colonel Dr Sahr said no LEOBATT 2 soldier had been infected with the virus, and there was no move to quarantine the peacekeeping troops.

The RSLAF Medical Chief disclosed that on the 1st October, 2014, a medical personnel (permanent staff) attached to the Peace Mission Training Centre (PMTC) reported at the Medical Inspection (MI) Room of the PMTC with serious abdominal pains and was treated. Colonel Dr Sahr added that on the following day Lance Corporal Abdul Sanu was referred at the 34 Military Hospital in Freetown following a deterioration of his health. Dr Sahr confirmed that the soldier was examined for EVD, and his medical result later showed “Positive”.

The Commanding Officer of the PMTC, Wing Commander Hassan Coomber said Lance Corporal Sanu had not been residing at the PMTC camp because of the inadequate accommodation facilities. Wing Commander Coomber said before the three-day ose-to-ose Ebola awareness campaign he had restricted the entering of all his training staff without accommodation into the camp. He added that his personnel only reported for work when needed. He confirmed that for over a month, Lance Corporal Sanu had not been seen in the camp.

In an interview, the Commanding Officer of LEOBATT 2, Lieutenant Colonel George Bangura said he had not been shaken with the unverified media report. He assured that their focus and commitment remained unchanged. He added that all his personnel were encamped, and they were proving very well.

PMTC was established in 2010 off Hastings to conduct Peace Support Operations (PSO) training for RSLAF troops. Since then the centre has successfully conducted trainings for several batches of RSLAF peace keeping troops. LEOBATT 2 is the second Sierra Leone contingent to be deployed with the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The contingent was due to be deployment in July, but the deployed has been stalled following the Ebola outbreak.

Contact: Captain Yayah Brima, Media Operations Cell, Headquarters, Joint Force Command, Cockerill Barracks, Freetown

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