The Sierra Leone National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) has seized to operate as its mandate comes to an end, an official said on Monday.

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NERC was established in October 2014 to coordinate all responses to the fight against the Ebola epidemic that started in May that year.

Its mandate ended on December 31, 2015, Francis Langoba Kelly, Director of Planning and Interagency Relations at the Office of the National Security (ONS), said.

He explained that the responsibilities of the NERC have now been taken over by his institution, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.

According to him, the ONS provides the lead coordinating role.

The District Ebola Response Centres (DERCs) will also be absorbed by the District management Health teams, he added.

ONS is a security policy making body that falls directly under the office of the President.

About 4000 deaths and over 8000 infections were recorded before the country was declared free of the virus on November 7, 2015.

When Ebola broke out there was no proper coordination and that was partly because the Health ministry thought it was solely responsible for all, said Kelly.

“We have learned our experience of the last outbreak. The ONS is taking the lead because it is responsible for all national security issues,” he said.

According to him, the government has also instituted a ‘Standard Emergency Disaster Fund (SEDF), which will be provided with an initial budgetary allocation of nothing less than Le 8 billion (US$1.6M) and further funding from donors