Via the Facebook page of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation: Health Minister Gets Ebola Communiqué from Paramount Chiefs. Excerpt:
Southern Region Bo District Paramount Chiefs have pledged in a proposed Communiqué to institute By-Laws that would complement government’s efforts in the fight against the deadly Ebola viral disease.
The Paramount Chiefs in their individual and collective contributions committed themselves to the Minister of Health and Sanitation and the government during the Minister’s routine visit to high risk districts. At the Bo District Council where she met with the Paramount Chiefs to discuss the importance of their role in the fight against the spread of the disease, the chiefs registered their commitment to the adoption of a communiqué that would address some of the key challenges in the fight against the spread of the disease.
The Paramount Chiefs committed to visit village to village , empower Town Criers, put a temporary ban on all Lumas (Trade Fair), secret society activities, a ban on Okada Riders carrying dead bodies or suspected cases of Ebola, and fines on harboring of suspected and positive cases of Ebola in homes.
They also plan to institute disciplinary measures and fines against Spiritual Healing Churches and herbalists treating suspects at home or their healing houses.
The Chiefs also advocated for the erection of additional screening check points at strategic locations in their chiefdoms, and lauded the Minister for her continued strides in the fight to contain the disease.
Health and Sanitation Minister reiterated the crucial role of Paramount Chiefs in the fight to contain the disease, and called for their immediate intervention.
She lauded them for the proposed communiqué which she said needed urgent action for its implementation.
Madam Kargbo told her audience that the Ebola disease knows no boundary, and not a respecter of age, tribe, political party or religion. She reminded the chiefs that the Ebola started with one person at the Kissi Teng in the Kailahun district and now in Bo.
She urged the Chiefs to intensify sensitization, and to engage Traditional Healers and Spiritual Healing Churches to deviate from treating Ebola or suspected cases in their institutions.
Deputy Minister of Local Government, Mr. Adiru Kalokoh commended the Paramount Chiefs for consensus to come out with a communiqué that would address some of the major concerns of the Ministry and the government, hoping that the sensitization would be intensified to a satisfactory level.
The District Medical Officer Bo, Dr. Alhaji Turay re-emphasized the need for By-Laws in the fight against the spread of the Ebola viral disease and reminded the Chiefs about the issue of bush meat among other key issues within their mandate.
The Minister in a related development also addressed senior staff of the Bo Government Hospital, expressing the need for effective and resourceful team work that would enhance positive response to case management in the hospital.
In another related development, the Medical Research Centre (MRC) Director, Mr. Abdul Kareem Jalloh donated a Road Giant ambulance to the Ministry for the Kailahun District Health Management Team for effective referral system.
The MRC Director also donated 10 drums of chlorine to the Ministry, and a drum each to all the 11 chiefdoms in Bo district.
Receiving the donation, Health and sanitation Minister, Miatta Kargbo described the gesture as an invaluable treasure to the Ministry and the government.