FREETOWN: A former government minister in Sierra Leone said yesterday that he has lost nine members of his family to the Ebola epidemic raging in west Africa.
Lansana Nyallah told state television the dead included his brothers and sisters in the eastern village of Daru, at the epicentre of the outbreak.
“To those who still believe that Ebola does not exist, please take heed,” the former youth and education minister told the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation. Ebola has claimed 273 lives in Sierra Leone. Overall almost 900 people have been killed by the pathogen, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids, since this worst-ever outbreak began at the start of the year.
“Nine members of my family including my brothers and sisters are now dead from the virus,” said Nyallah, who was replaced in a cabinet reshuffle last year after several years in President Ernest Bai Koroma’s government.