Inside The Ebola Lock-down

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20140929

Tim Mansel gives a day by day account of the attempt to ensure that the 5.8-million people of Sierra Leone stay in their homes for three days. They will be visited "hos to hos" (house-to-house) by hastily assembled teams drawn from 21,000 volunteers and given health advice on how to prevent the spread of Ebola.

It's a policy that's been adopted against the advice of international health agencies who doubt it will have the desired effect and who doubt already stretched Sierra Leone health facilities will be able to cope with the consequences, (potentially the identification of thousands of new cases). Others have concerns the lock-down could lead to civil unrest (as happened in a slum in Monrovia when a similar thing was attempted).

With identified cases approaching 1,700 and deaths edging towards 500, Sierra Leone is not the country worst effected by Ebola but none have adopted such a dramatic policy to deal with the outbreak.

Tim Mansel, who recently spent three months living in Sierra Leone, talks to ordinary people there as they attempt to go about their ordinary lives in these extraordinary circumstances.

Producer:Gemma Newby.