Via Awareness Times, a long, informative report: Kailahun urgently needs Food Aid & Protective Gears. Excerpt:
The deadly Ebola outbreak has become real in Eastern district of Kailahun that shares common borders with both Liberia & Guinea and where the virus was first spotted to have caused human deaths. It is confirmed that dozens of people, including medical personnel have lost their lives to the deadly contagion. This situation has created worries and despair for both families of victims and authorities.
Sequel to the developments, elected parliamentarians from the troubled district have on Wednesday 10th June 2014 called up a press conference at the State Hall of House of Parliament building at Tower Hill, Freetown during which they expressed displeasure with the central government’s management of the crisis and also made known their demands for a more robust response from the central government in Freetown.
Present at the meeting were all opposition and ruling party MPs from Kailahun as well as the district’s Paramount Chief MP, Hon. P.C. Mohamed Kailondo Banya.
Each and every MP present spoke on behalf of the suffering people of Kailahun and unanimously agreed that the Ebola outbreak was now an emergency that needed an immediate response.
The Kailahun MPs are unhappy that since the outbreak of the disease, the Ministry of Health & Sanitation has not been up to task to put preventive and supportive measures in place to curb the epidemic. They said from their observations during a recent sensitization tour to their constituencies, it was clear that government’s intervention in the provision of safety gears for medical practitioners and food aid to isolated communities is not tartly forthcoming.
In his opening remarks Hon. Mustapha Brima of Constituency 002 who chaired the meeting said they were disturbed by recent setback of the dreadful outbreak that he said was currently ravaging several lives “without any strong response from the central government”. Hon. Brima said they were disappointed that the promise made by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation that they were poised to promptly intervene in case Ebola would become a reality in Sierra Leone from neighbouring countries, has not been realised now that it has become of concern.
“Prior to the outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, we were assured by the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Miatta Kargbo that the country was well prepared for any possible outbreak but the rate at which health workers and ordinary citizens are dying in Kailahun clearly indicates that nothing was planned to repel the attack by the heinous disease,” Hon. Brima vented out in visible anger.
Hon. Brima said after the outbreak occurred, MPs were given support to go on a fixed number of days of sensitization tour but, upon their return to Parliament, they have realized their venture was not enough to stem the contagion, especially as they have now realized the seriousness of the ministry’s inability to handle the matter with a widespread lack of protective and safety clothings. He said for that reason they were calling on government to provide safety gears to health workers.
Hon. Brima furthered that another matter of urgency was for the central government to immediately provide food aid to those that are now forced into isolation because of fear of transmission.
He also made a damning indictment of “certain health service civil society activists” of not saying the truth about the outbreak which has seen infected patients emerge in various places. He said at least two suspected Ebola who fled from Daru have died in his constituency.