Via Awareness Times, a very informative article: Ebola Virus sends APC MP, Minister, & Chiefs to Liberia. Excerpt:
Health & Sanitation Minister Miatta Kargbo has confirmed to journalists in Kenema that we now have at least 14 confirmed cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Hon Sahr Patrick Tengbeh, elected parliamentarian for the Ebola-afflicted Constituency 03 in Kailahun, has on Thursday 29th May 2014, travelled by road from Koindu town into Liberia alongside the Deputy Minister of Labour Augustine Kortu (also of Constituency 03) Koindu Town Chief Moses Foryoh & Kissi Teng Chiefdom Speaker Fallah Jusu. Purpose of trip was for sensitisation on Ebola disease.
They went to use the Liberia-based Radio Tambatenko station to sensitise inhabitants in area known as ‘Kissi Kingdom’ which covers Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The Liberian radio station is only radio powerful enough to cover entire Kissi Kingdom spanning the three countries. Factually, cultures and traditions of those living in Kissi Kingdom are the same despite colonial demarcation of Africa resulted in Kissi Kingdom being now located within three countries.
According to social commentator Dr. Sylvia Blyden who was writing on FACEBOOK last Saturday May 24th 2014, one of the reasons why it has been impossible for Sierra Leone government to order a closure of its borders is because, “border areas between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea might technically have ‘border posts’ but in reality, that tri-country area inhabited by Kissi tribe is just one big family land with no real borders. Villages overflow into one another with no clear demarcation.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Awareness Times on their return to Sierra Leone last night, Hon. Patrick Tengbeh and team expressed satisfaction and hope that the inhabitants had received their messages in good faith. Indeed, according to our reporter on the ground who spoke to several residents, the radio sensitisation, which was done in the Kissi language, was well received and understood and the Kissi people are beginning to see need for why they should forgive lapses of the Ministry of Health and now fully cooperate with health officials.
Hon. Tengbeh said the Liberian based radio agreed to repeat the sensitisation messages several times until next week; following which a decision will be taken on whether to continue sensitisation messages on that radio.
Hon. Tengbeh also revealed to this press that there are credible reports that “at least two more of the Ebola patients” who were abandoned when Ministry of Health officials callously pulled out of the town this week, have died and been buried in their villages. This is in addition to the woman buried by Health Ministry officials earlier this week. Unfortunately, latest corpses are said to have been buried in villages without informing the authorities.
Meanwhile, very senior Health Ministry officials are expected in Koindu today alongside a team from an international NGO, Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF). This is to start work on a proposed Field Hospital for treatment and isolation of Ebola victims out there rather than moving them to Kenema.
Hon. Tengbeh and the Chiefs assure that the Health Ministry officials will be warmly welcomed as Kissi people are by nature, usually very hospitable.