Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo – Sierra Leone must be on alert

Murray Sandy: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 June 2019:

Not in any way trying to raise alarm bells in Sierra Leone, and have people all hyped up. Nevertheless, if our collective memory regarding the most contagious and dreadful Ebola serves us right, Sierra Leoneans should be in a contemplative mode.

Not in a panic mode, at least not yet. This piece is purely intended for the government of Sierra Leone to start exploring and strategizing the possibility of “what if” scenario, in case there is an outbreak or occurrence, not necessarily in Sierra Leone, but in the surrounding countries, the likes of neighbouring Guinea, where the Ebola in Sierra Leone supposedly originated; and Liberia, Nigeria or Ghana or anywhere else in the region for that matter.

So it happened last time – remember, the denial, the lethargy and the equivocation, leaving over five thousand people dead?

Sierra Leone cannot afford and must not be allowed to be caught with “HIS pants down” this time around.

That is why we have the Chief Minister, who is paid big bucks – Leones – Pound Sterling -Dollars – Euros? whatever, for his expertise.

The President is not the only thinker heading the government, even though he has his Masters Degree, but the Chief Minister has his PhD (Photo), right. So get to work, man.

Granted the latest Ebola occurrence, incidentally in Africa, (not again), has indeed occurred far away from our shores, indeed thousands of miles away in Central Africa, in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to be exact, should still give Sierra Leoneans cause for concern.

The UN noted, “The Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 1,200 innocent lives”, probably because the government there was asleep at the wheel of governance, neglecting its cardinal responsibility of protecting life and limb.

And the risk of spreading to other provinces in the Eastern Congo as well as neighbouring countries remains very high.

Uganda has already recorded two deaths. A grandmother and her grandson who had attended a funeral of an Ebola patient who was a relative.

A third of those who have fallen ill are children, which is a higher proportion than in previous outbreaks. DRC seems to be a hotbed of Ebola (no pun intended), but the country needs prayers.

The world is pretty much a Village these days. Ever closer by indomitable travel by air, sea and automobile to and from every corner of the world.

So, Sierra Leone must guard herself from any possibility of invasion by this disease. The government of Sierra Leone must be vigilant and fulfil its obligation to protect its citizens.

Ebola remains a major threat to the health and socio-economic well-being of the people of the East African Community (EAC) bloc, just as it was in the West African community when it happened there over 5 years ago.

Former President of Sierra Leone – Siaka Stevens, once said, “Vigilance is the price we must pay for our freedom”, though it was in a different context from today’s democratic principles.

2 Comments

  1. Every Sierra Leonean knew what happened when EBOLA last struck our beloved land. This is a very serious health issue that should not be overlooked by any government in Africa and in particular Sierra Leone. This is not the first time this deadly disease has ravaged the DRC. It’s just like an ON/OFF situation in that country.

    So, what should our government in Sierra leone be doing in case we have the same scenario as the DRC? There are chances that this deadly disease will strike our country again. Has the Bio administration done anything to prevent the population against ebola if it re-emerges? I hope so.

    Politics aside, C4C with Chief Sam Sumana was the only party that had PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM as a priority if they had won the general election. None of the other political parties said anything concerning post EBOLA strategies or PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE (on a wide range of health issues). They have nothing. DISCUSS/ARGUE.

    I spoke with one C4C official who is very close to Chief Sam Sumana about this same EBOLA issue during the campaign. I asked him about their plans to stamp out ebola completely if it re-emerges in our country again. He first of all told me that the vision of the C4C is prevention.

    In fact to convince me, he cited the success with the RIVER BLINDNESS disease that was curtailed in the country especially around the areas near the river SEWA. The results of that success was later applied to other parts of the country where the disease was active. Before that, river blindness was neglected because nobody cares. Can you imagine how long people had to suffer before it was taken seriously? This was what he told me more than a year ago:

    1. The C4C would make sure that all dead bodies throughout the country will undergo a postmortem before burial. Also, no burial will be done without the knowledge of the hospitals or appropriate health authorities.

    2. They will make sure that radio information be available throughout the country to inform people (in all the local languages) about the risks of coming into contact with animals like Bats, Squirrels, Monkeys, Baboons etc.

    3. Paramount Chiefs will be given special resources to help with the promotion of EBOLA in every chiefdom and make regular updates to the respective health services in their areas.

    4. Temperature controls will be a routine on all passengers between both on our local and international borders.

    5. People will be constantly advised both on radio and TV to consult a nurse/doctor when they have unexplained illnesses, fever, dysentery, vomiting, diarrhea, severe headache etc.

    6. He also said that government will make sure that the population gets VITAMIN C SUPPLEMENTS at affordable prices and will also encourage people to be drinking a lot of water. People will also be advised to eat a lot of citrus fruits.

    7. There will also be regular TV and Radio calls from listeners to Experts/Local leaders and past victims for awareness.

    8. Disinfectants will be made available in every public space, schools, hospitals etc.

    9. The C4C government will establish a telephone hotline to report any suspicious case of EBOLA related symptoms.

    I was categorically told by this official that, EBOLA under a C4C government will never be neglected like river blindness.
    This information was given to me two years ago. Could anyone have imagined what EBOLA PREVENTION apparatus would have been in place if the C4C had won?

    I hope the SLPP government will ask the C4C for their strategies on PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE to prevent EBOLA from re-emerging. There is possibility that it will come back.

    The Free Quality Education the SLPP is now boasting of, was a C4C idea. This whole idea of Free Quality Education started in the corridors of the C4C. That is why the SLPP is struggling with the long term implementation of the program. Basically, it was just a SPY JACKSON. If the SLPP can spy the Free Quality Education Program from the C4C, why can’t they spy the EBOLA PREVENTIVE idea from the C4C.

    The C4C’s approach to the free Quality Education should have been a success not only for the short term but for the long term also. Although the SLPP is trying and struggling with the program right now, they have no long term strategy for this very ambitious and expensive project. Again, they should ask the C4C for mentoring before it gets too late. PERIOD. DISCUSS/ARGUE.

  2. Indeed. Not in PANIC MODE but in ALERT MODE for DIAGNOSTIC EXAMINATIONS! Common sense prevention methods must be in place to just stop the threat. I will visit this article later after my duty to GOD. I will definitely ask GOD to save Sierra Leone from this threat still doing mayhem in Africa. Thanks Mr. Murray Sandy for your thoughts. GOD BLESS YOU.

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