Via Awareness Times, a remarkable account: Ebola Crisis on Social Media. It's a four-day exchange of messages including Sidie Yahya Tunis, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation spokesperson, and Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden. Here are the last two days of messages:
SIDIE YAHYA TUNIS (08:51GMT on Monday May 26th 2014) "Ladies and gentlemen, laboratory test results from samples collected in Kailahun District have shown positive for Ebola in one case. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation wants the general public to know that the presence of Ebola in Sierra Leone is now confirmed with this 1 positive case."
AMADU LAMRANA BAH (12:55GMT on Tuesday May 27th 2014) "The Director of Communications at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Sidi Yaya Tunis has just confirmed that Laboratory tests have increased and the number of confirmed Ebola cases to 5 people. All of these five cases are admitted at the Ebola Isolation Centre in Kenema."
SIDIE YAHYA TUNIS (13:51GMT on Tuesday May 27th 2014) "Laboratory Test from the Kenema Government Hospital Lassa and other Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers laboratory have confirmed additional cases of Ebola. Sierra Leone now has 7 laboratory confirmed cases of Ebola.
Meanwhile, the ministry is also monitoring reports of suspected cases been removed by relatives from isolation units in Kenema Hospital and youths in Kailahun disrupting health workers. The authorities from the Districts have been informed and a team comprising Members of Parliament from Kenema and Kailahun Districts and Ministry officials will leave for the area today to engage the communities and authorities in those districts."
SYLVIA OLAYINKA BLYDEN (15:42GMT on Tuesday May 27th 2014) “From malicious allegations that Dr. Sylvia Blyden is a 'fake' medical doctor spreading lies about Ebola-like symptoms, now, we have officially arrived at SEVEN "laboratory confirmed" Ebola cases. How much more unconfirmed cases are floating around, only God knows.”
Meanwhile, I sadly announce death of YAWA KORSEH whom I had asked you all to pray for. She has died in last 24 hours at Kenema Government Hospital. I urge all investigative journalists to focus their skills SHARPLY on Ministry of Health & Sanitation. Do not be intimidated by the Ministry's 'press releases'. NA OPEN-CALL.!!! Today, it is killing in Kailahun; tomorrow, it could be in Freetown. Wake up!
AMADU LAMRANA BAH (16:18GMT on Tuesday May 27th 2014) "Sidi Yaya Tunis Director of Communications at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation just confirmed that one out of the seven confirmed cases of Ebola Virus is already dead."
SYLVIA OLAYINKA BLYDEN (17:49GMT on Tuesday May 27th 2014) Another Ebola victim has died in past 24 hours. She is one of Ebola patients who fled Koindu Kissi Teng Health Center when Police last evening had to rescue & escort the besieged Ministry of Health medical team sent to forcibly take Ebola patients to Kenema yesterday. Youths refused movement of the patients from Koindu to Kenema and it created a public disorder that got the Police called in.
Anyway, Kumba Satta has just died at her residence where she had fled to her relatives after everyone, including Community Health Officer, simply abandoned the Health Center last evening; leaving Ebola patients to their own devices! Madam Kumba Satta's corpse has been taken to her village Korosur, three miles from Koindu for burial. Meanwhile Kissi Teng Chiefdom Speaker Falla Jusu and Koindu Town Chief Moses Foryoh, inform me that another medical team is expected soon in the chiefdom with other authorities. Whether this team will also try to forcibly capture Ebola patients to take them to Kenema is not known.
However, many believe that the solution is not to forcibly take Ebola patients out of Koindu but to instead immediately upgrade Kissi Teng Community Health Center to a Field Hospital complete with air-conditioned detachable containerised Isolation Units. That way, epicentre of crisis which is Kissi Teng, will have all pertinent operations hover around it. Distance from Kissi Teng to Kenema is too long and road is terrible. Take medical team and medical labs to Koindu and not patients out of Koindu.
Even the act of moving patients from Kissi Teng to Kenema is another danger as it could mean moving the geographical epicentre of this crisis from the remote borders right into the METROPOLITAN urban Kenema City.
Yesterday I posted about some of these events as A dubious report on Ebola, and said it seemed over the top. Apparently not.