Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 August 2014
Following the day of prayers and reflection, I wish to thank my fellow Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad for their participation, and positive response to our government’s call for solidarity and support.
We are faced with a great calamity that requires mass mobilization and full commitment by all of us.
I sympathize with the families of the victims, as they cope with this horrible tragedy. I also wish to commend the first responders like the late Dr. Khan and other health workers who were, and are on the front lines of this battle.
We should consider their courage and sacrifice as an inspiration for all of us to recommit ourselves to our core values as Sierra Leoneans (unity, freedom and justice).
With unity of purpose we achieved peace in our country, and with the same determination, we can defeat Ebola.
I note that there is quite a bit of misinformation, ignorance and other factors that impede more robust actions to contain the spread of the disease.
Therefore, I appeal to all of us to endeavour to know more about the science and epidemiology of the disease, and then persuade our relatives, friends, neighbours and communities to follow the international protocols for dealing with such epidemics.
But greater international cooperation and specialized technical support is required.
As a nation, we must use our best minds that have the knowledge and skills to deal with the situation.
Public health and disaster prevention and management of this scale, require specialized skills – not just common sense.
With dissemination of accurate information, deployment of science and technology, regional collaboration, continued support of the global community and our commitment, we can win this battle and we must.
We all have different ways of contributing, and every small effort helps. Some contributed cash, others food and equipment. Others offered prayers.
And all these efforts, have come together to demonstrate our common bond as God’s children, ready to comfort and console our brethren at their time of need.