I tend to avoid Awareness Times because it seems incapable of reporting Ebola straight, without endless political commentary. But this report has some details about Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, the leader of the Ebola fight who is himself now ill with the disease: News Analysis of State of Fight against Ebola. Excerpt:
Family members of two prominent doctors in Kenema have confided to this newspaper that the doctors are currently stricken with Ebola-like symptoms. One of them (name with-held) is said to be awaiting his test results whilst the other, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan was last evening of July 22nd 2014, announced by the Health Ministry, as being confirmed positive for Ebola. Dr. Khan is the specialist doctor in charge of the Ebola Unit in Kenema Government Hospital.
Simultaneously, a national broadcaster last evening reported that following the deaths of eight (8) nurses within one month, ostensibly from Ebola infection, the Kenema city Ebola Unit is now abandoned by nurses who accuse the Health Ministry of being “incapable” of protecting health workers.
Kenema Ebola patients lie abandoned; in a manner similar as to how patients were left to their own devices in Kissi Teng, when this crisis first broke.
Dr. Khan has last evening been moved to the Kailahun Ebola center built and operated by the international NGO, Medicines Sans Frontiers. There have been widespread ironical comments over the move of the infected medical doctor from Kenema to Kailahun. It could be recalled there were vehement protests against the move of Ebola patients from remote epicenter of Kissi Teng, Kailahun to Kenema which is a metropolitan city. Those protests had been met with government’s insistence that it was only in Kenema that Ebola patients could be effectively treated.
The opponents of Kailahun to Kenema movement had firmly insisted that, by international protocol, health facilities in remote epicenter, should have been instantly upgraded; with field hospital services speedily created on the very day the outbreak happened.
However, Health Ministry was caught unprepared to effectively cope with the situation when it first unfolded. The ministry was also immune to advise.
Some patriots who raised alarms about the dangers of the lapses, oversights and ill-suited medical policies being implemented, were turned to objects of gross humiliation and mocking scorn by the Government’s information and propaganda outfits led by Information Minister Alhaji Alpha Kanu. Excuses were found for any negative scenario unfolding with Health Minister Miatta Kargbo, blaming everyone else but her ministry. Kargbo did not spare even memories of dead health workers.
Less than two months after posturing and excuses, we will today, July 23rd 2014, have recorded over five hundred (500) laboratory confirmed, suspected and probable Ebola cases in just Sierra Leone. No-one knows actual number of deaths from Ebola in Sierra Leone.