Thousands break Ebola quarantine to find food

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
31 PHOTOS
Dr. Salia Sierra Leone Ebola
See Gallery
Thousands break Ebola quarantine to find food
Health workers wears protective gears before entering the house of a person suspected to have died of the Ebola virus in Port Loko Community situated on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. After emerging months ago in eastern Sierra Leone, Ebola is now hitting the western edges of the country where the capital is located with dozens of people falling sick each day, the government said Tuesday. So many people are dying that removing bodies is reportedly a problem. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)
An #Ebola-stricken surgeon dies according to Nebraska Medical Center. http://t.co/jXwf5jF36s http://t.co/y1sLEtX5d1
Health workers in protective suits transport Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon working in Sierra Leone who had been diagnosed with Ebola, from a jet that brought him from Sierra Leone to a waiting ambulance that will take him to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. Dr. Salia is the third Ebola patient at the Omaha hospital and the 10th person with Ebola to be treated in the U.S. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Police vehicles escort the ambulance carrying Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon working in Sierra Leone who had been diagnosed with Ebola, as it heads from the airport to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. Dr. Salia is the third Ebola patient at the Omaha hospital and the 10th person with Ebola to be treated in the U.S. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Health workers in protective suits transport Dr. Martin Salia, a surgeon working in Sierra Leone who had been diagnosed with Ebola, from a jet that brought him from Sierra Leone to a waiting ambulance that will take him to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. Dr. Salia is the third Ebola patient at the Omaha hospital and the 10th person with Ebola to be treated in the U.S. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Health workers wear protective gears before entering the house of a person suspected to have died of Ebola virus in Port loko Community situated on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. After emerging months ago in eastern Sierra Leone, Ebola is now hitting the western edges of the country where the capital is located with dozens of people falling sick each day, the government said Tuesday. So many people are dying that removing bodies is reportedly a problem. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)
A baby pig sleeps in front of an ambulance used at the Connaught Hospital as part of their Ebola virus fleet, during a three-day lockdown to prevent the spread on the Ebola virus in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Volunteers going door to door during a three-day lockdown intended to combat Ebola in Sierra Leone say some residents are growing increasingly frustrated and complaining about food shortages. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)
A health worker volunteer talks with a resident on how to prevent and identify the Ebola virus in others, and distributes bars of soap in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Thousands of health workers began knocking on doors across Sierra Leone on Friday in search of hidden Ebola cases with the entire West African nation locked down in their homes for three days in an unprecedented effort to combat the deadly disease. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)
In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, Idrissa Kargbo, Sierra Leone's national marathon champion, helps volunteers distribute information on Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone. As a boy, marathon runner Idrissa Kargbo sprinted through the villages of Sierra Leone on errands for his grandmother and later as a coffee courier. Now at 23 years old, his times have qualified him for races on three continents. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)
A mother breastfeeds her child as they wait to see a doctor for a routine visit at the Kuntorloh Community Health Centre in the outskirts of Freetown on November 14, 2014. Ebola-hit Sierra Leone faces social and economic disaster as gains made since the country's ruinous civil war are wiped out by the epidemic, according to a major study. Damage to most sectors of the economy will see growth shrink from 20.1 percent last year to just five percent in 2014, the finance ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) found. AFP PHOTO/ FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)
A baby naps on his mother's shoulder as they enter the vaccination room during a routine visit at the Kuntorloh Community Health Centre in the outskirts of Freetown on November 14, 2014. Ebola-hit Sierra Leone faces social and economic disaster as gains made since the country's ruinous civil war are wiped out by the epidemic, according to a major study. Damage to most sectors of the economy will see growth shrink from 20.1 percent last year to just five percent in 2014, the finance ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) found. AFP PHOTO/ FRANCISCO LEONG (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)
In this April 2014 photo provided by the United Methodist News Service, Dr. Martin Salia poses for a photo at the United Methodist Church's Kissy Hospital outside Freetown, Sierra Leone. Salia who was diagnosed with Ebola on Monday, landed at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2014, and was being transported to the Nebraska Medical Center.
In this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Health workers spray disinfectant on the body of a man as they prepare to place him into a grave, rear, as he is suspected of contracting and dying from the Ebola virus on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. Liberia is making some progress in containing the Ebola outbreak while Sierra Leone is "in a crisis situation which is going to get worse," the top anti-Ebola officials in the two countries said. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
Health workers wear protective gears before entering the house of a person suspected to have died of Ebola virus in Port loko Community situated on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. After emerging months ago in eastern Sierra Leone, Ebola is now hitting the western edges of the country where the capital is located with dozens of people falling sick each day, the government said Tuesday. So many people are dying that removing bodies is reportedly a problem. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)
A healthcare worker in protective gear is seen at an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The deadly Ebola virus has infected two people in what was the last untouched district in Sierra Leone, the government said Thursday, a setback in efforts to stop the spread of the disease in one of the hardest-hit countries. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)
A healthcare worker mixes chlorine with water at an Ebola treatment centre in Hastings, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Some doctors in countries hit hardest by the deadly Ebola disease decline to operate on pregnant women for fear the virus could spread. Governments face calls from frightened citizens to bar travel to and from the afflicted region. Meanwhile, the stakes get higher as more people get sick, highlighting a tricky balance between protecting people and preserving their rights in a global crisis. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)
Rendi Murphree, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who will soon be leaving for Monrovia, Liberia, packs for her trip at her home in Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Murphree will be working at the airport in Monrovia, screening outbound passengers for the Ebola virus. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
A disguised supporter of Ivory Coast's national football team holds a placard reading 'Stop Ebola', as he attends the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying football match between Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone on September 6, 2014 at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Medical workers of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital in Monrovia put on protective suits prior to carrying bodies of Ebola virus victims on September 6, 2014. The death toll from the Ebola epidemic has climbed above 2,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on September 5, as it voiced hopes a vaccine could be available in November. The deadly virus has claimed 2,097 lives out of 3,944 people infected in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, since emerging last December, the UN's health organ said after a two-day crisis meeting in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A medical worker of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia disinfects a wall on September 6, 2014. The death toll from the Ebola epidemic has climbed above 2,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on September 5, as it voiced hopes a vaccine could be available in November. The deadly virus has claimed 2,097 lives out of 3,944 people infected in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, since emerging last December, the UN's health organ said after a two-day crisis meeting in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Medical workers of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital in Monrovia, responsible for transport of the bodies of Ebola virus victims, wear their protective suits as they walk past a sick woman waiting for assistance, on September 6, 2014. The death toll from the Ebola epidemic has climbed above 2,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on September 5, as it voiced hopes a vaccine could be available in November. The deadly virus has claimed 2,097 lives out of 3,944 people infected in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, since emerging last December, the UN's health organ said after a two-day crisis meeting in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A doctor wearing protective gear takes part in a drill with a dummy to demonstrate the procedures of transporting an Ebola victim,in Hong Kong Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. An Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,500 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The university student is Senegal's first case of the dreaded disease. (AP Photo/Tyrone Siu, Pool)
Doctor and nurse wearing protective gear take part in a drill with a dummy to demonstrate the procedures of transporting an Ebola victim,in Hong Kong Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. An Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,500 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The university student is Senegal's first case of the dreaded disease. (AP Photo/Tyrone Siu, Pool)
In this photo taken on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, a woman washes her hands in chlorinated water at the Connaught Hospital, which has suffered the loss of medical workers in the past from the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan was one of those on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak. The tireless Khan was jovial but forceful, doling out praise and criticism to junior doctors at his hospital. But Khan became infected and died, and so have at least 120 other medical workers in Sierra Leone and in three other countries, creating immediate and long-term impacts in a region that already had an understaffed and under equipped health care system. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)
This photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 shows the outside view of the entrance of the Connaught Hospital, which has suffered the loss of medical workers in the past from the Ebola virus, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan was one of those on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak. The tireless Khan was jovial but forceful, doling out praise and criticism to junior doctors at his hospital. But Khan became infected and died, and so have at least 120 other medical workers in Sierra Leone and in three other countries, creating immediate and long-term impacts in a region that already had an understaffed and under equipped health care system. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


DAKAR, Senegal (AP) - Thousands of people in Sierra Leone are being forced to violate Ebola quarantines to find food because deliveries are not reaching them, aid agencies said.

Large swaths of the West African country have been sealed off to prevent the spread of Ebola, and within those areas many people have been ordered to stay in their homes.

The government, with help from the U.N.'s World Food Program, is tasked with delivering food and other services to those people. But there are many "nooks and crannies" in the country that are being missed, Jeanne Kamara, Christian Aid's Sierra Leone representative, said Tuesday.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed nearly 5,000 people, and authorities have gone to extreme lengths to bring it under control, including the quarantines in Sierra Leone. Similar restrictions have also been used in Liberia and Guinea, the two other countries hardest hit by the epidemic.

Some efforts have begun to show progress. The situation is Guinea is improving, as is the quality of care for Ebola patients, thanks to international aid, said Aboubakar Sidiki Diakite, an official with the country's Health Ministry, who was visiting Paris on Tuesday.

But more treatment centers and medical teams are still needed, the World Health Organization said at a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday. There are currently 16 treatment centers up and running and 58 more planned. To staff those centers, 500 foreign health care workers and 4,000 national ones are still needed.

In an address to political leaders in Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma said ordinary people also have to do more. He defended the stringent measures he has imposed and called on all citizens to stop dangerous behavior that has fueled Ebola's spread, such as secret burials where corpses are washed or even people touching the sick.

"We have to take the sick out and take the responsibility with firmness," he said. "We must end Ebola now."

While public health authorities have said heavy restrictions may be necessary to bring under control an Ebola outbreak unlike any other, the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella organization for aid organizations, warned on Monday that they were cutting off food to thousands of people.

"The quarantine of Kenema, the third largest town in Sierra Leone, is having a devastating impact on trade - travel is restricted so trucks carrying food cannot freely drive around," the committee said in a statement. "Food is becoming scarce, which has led to prices increasing beyond the reach of ordinary people."

Because services are not reaching them, people who are being monitored for signs of Ebola - and should be staying at home - are venturing out to markets to look for food, potentially contaminating many others, said Kamara of Christian Aid.

When houses are put under quarantine, teams are supposed to go to them to identify their needs, she said: How many people are living there? Are there pregnant women or sick people with special needs?

But Kamara said that with the infections still increasing quickly, it was difficult for the government to keep up with the number of people being monitored for the disease. The outbreak in Sierra Leone has been shifting in recent weeks, with the number of new cases ballooning in the country's western and northern districts, far from where the outbreak began, in the country's east.

In October, the World Food Program fed more than 450,000 people in Sierra Leone, including people who are under quarantine or being treated for Ebola, said Alexis Masciarelli, a spokesman for the agency in Dakar, Senegal. The distribution of food has been difficult, he said, since it has required bringing food to remote areas by poor roads.

He acknowledged that getting good information about where people need help is difficult, but he said WFP asks smaller organizations, with deep connections to the communities, to help them keep track of a fast-moving situation.

Also as part of the effort to control the epidemic, Liberia has ordered that the bodies of all Ebola victims in and around the capital be cremated. Ebola is transmitted through the bodily fluids of infected people, and secretions from dead bodies are among the most infectious.

But the neighborhood around the crematorium on the outskirts of Monrovia, called Boys Town, is now demanding that the government move the facility elsewhere. Residents say the ash is polluting the area and the stigma surrounding Ebola is rubbing off on them, with people pointing them out in the market.

The residents are threatening to hold a protest Thursday that would block cremations if the government doesn't move the facility.

More AOL Content:

Report: ISIS abused captive Kurdish children
Fugitive Mexican mayor, wife arrested
Woman accused of throwing son of Oregon bridge
Read Full Story

People are Reading