Quarantines in Sierra Leone

Putting people first in the Ebola crisis

Publication date: 11 December 2014
Author: Wairimu Munyinyi Wahome. Editor: Debbie Hillier.

Sierra Leone has declared a public health state of emergency in a bid to contain the spread of Ebola. Since then, quarantine measures have been imposed, including self-quarantines informed by district and chiefdom by-laws and government-imposed quarantines.

An effective quarantine strategy provides a means of mitigating the spread of Ebola and saving lives, but only when implemented correctly. In November 2014, standard operational procedures (SOPs) on the management of quarantines were released by the National Ebola Response Coordination (NERC) in order to streamline operations across the country. This briefing examines the role of quarantines in response to the Ebola crisis, and provides recommendations to ensure that peoples’ rights are met and quarantines can be used as a successful tool to reduce transmission.

It is one of a series of Oxfam briefings on the Ebola crisis and response.