Unfortunately the epidemic was waiting in the wings: The West African Ebola virus epidemic (2013–2016) was the most widespread outbreak of Ebola virus disease(EVD) in history—causing major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in the region, mainly in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma stated the following during the EU Ebola Conference held in Brussels on 3 March 2015:
“Sierra Leone and its region have been at the forefront of a war waged by the Ebola virus against all humanity, which the country never saw coming and for which no one was prepared.”
The first laboratory confirmed case of EVD in Sierra Leone was reported in mid-May 2014.
The state of emergency initially declared early September 2014 was extended until mid-June 2015. Preventive measures were introduced which included district wide quarantines, embargoes on markets and trading, closure of several recreational facilities, roadblocks and checkpoints and reduced opening hours for shops and commercial enterprises and public transport.
As can be expected, these measures also had seriously negative socio-economic impacts. Of considerable long term effect is the fact that 1,760,000 children did not attend school for over a year.