Thanks to Ryszard for sending the link to this October 16 report in Politico SL News: Turmoil in Pujehun over Ebola money. Excerpt:
The chairman of the Pujehun District Council has kept up his attacks on the District Health Management Team accusing them of “playing games with the lives of residents of Pujehun district”.
Sadiq Sillah told an Ebola task force meeting, a week after announcing he was taking over the leadership of the group, that “health workers at peripheral health units are not treating their work with seriousness”, because they leave the units unattended “to do private business, totally un-related to the Ebola virus disease.”
Sillah, who was attacking the DHMT for the second time this week, also accused the District Medical Officer, Dr David Bome of refusing to take action even as his staff who “treat their work with levity, are being paid weekly allowances.”
The District Council Chairman disclosed that the “DHMT have been working with a list of 230 ghost Contact Tracers and Dr. David Bome and his team have been giving out fake fuel chits to members of the tax force to monitor all Ebola check points in the district.”
He said the major challenge facing the fight against Ebola in Pujehun “is the fact that the health workers here do not believe the Ebola virus exists which is why they have not even been practicing simple hand washing at the main government hospital in the district headquarter town.”
Sillah also accused the DHMT of wanting “to use Ebola as an opportunity to enrich themselves over night”, and called for the intervention of the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the alleged misuse of government funds allocated to help contain the outbreak.
He called on all non-governmental organisations operating in the district to stop direct donations to the Ebola fight through the DHMT and to instead pass through the District Tax Force.
The Military Commander of the 14 Battalion, Lt Col Kalifa Kamara said “anybody who tries to undermine government efforts to eradicate Ebola will be appropriately dealt with by the security sectors irrespective of their position in society.” He said that together with the police, they would give every support to the District Council Chairman and his team.
Chairman of the Civil Society Coalition, Ibrahim Swaray told the gathering that the health sector in Pujehun “has been corrupt in its handling of Ebola funds because their list of Contract Tracers was full of duplications and some community members sign blank vouchers during payment.”
The Pujehun District Medical Officer, David Bome denied all the allegations against him and his staff saying “this district does not appreciate our efforts and I am ready to be transferred to any other district… that will be my happiest moment.”