A time of need

Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 August 2014

kandeh2014Following 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.

kandeh yumkella and koroma3Our government (and others in the region) along with national and community-based health services in the region, are doing their best to limit the spread of the disease.

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.


1 Comment

  1. The Ebola Wohala

    We now find ourselves in the midst of the deadliest outbreak of EVD in history! And that in our beloved Sierra-Leone!

    Since the outbreak began several months ago, doctors and allied healthcare workers are the most vulnerable as they are in first line contact with the infected!

    Protective equipment for healthcare workers on the front line treating those with the Ebola virus infection is crucial and of great importance-but yet, is at stake!

    Not only hundreds of people have died or become infected, doctors including Dr. Sheik Umar Khan (unfortunately) health care workers are also dying everyday!

    Serious deficiencies in the working conditions of national and international doctors and allied healthcare workers dealing with the Ebola virus in Sierra-Leone have been highlighted by the World Medical Association, World Health Organization, UNICEF und MSF.

    So therefore, protection of all healthcare workers and those willing to travel to give their support is extremely crucial and of great importance to make this major international collaborative effort a success.

    A concerned citizen

    Dr. Mariatu Turay-Rohde (MD, MSc. Public Health, Policy Advisor & Project Consultant)
    Berlin, Germany.

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