Political parties and the media are “primary stakeholders” in the fight against Ebola, the Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) told representatives of parties and the media.
Justice Maitland Tolla-Thompson made this statement during a media briefing at the Commission at the presentation of a report on the successes and challenges during the recent three-day stay-at-home for Ebola talk.
The PPRC Chairman said political parties are responsible for shaping the will of the people politically, socially and economically, and that party executives should always be alert in seeking the interest of their constituents to ensure they are not taken advantage of.
He expressed his pleasure that, in the short period since the end of the three-day stay-at-home exercise, a report had been compiled and was ready for submission to the Office of the President, the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and other partners involved in the fight to combat Ebola.
As he commended representatives of All Political Parties Association (APPA) and the media for their commitment to duty during the exercise. Justice Tolla-Thompson commented on concerns some of the political parties had raised on the issue of price hikes in basic commodities, including increases by service providers who they alleged were profiteering from the people’s present misery.
He stressed that now was the time for Sierra Leoneans to be more united and move in a positive direction to bring Ebola to its knees.
Justice Tolla-Thompson urged representatives of the ten political parties to be more positive, as they had been in the compilation of the report, making recommendations which he said showed that they care for their constituents. This, he said, has placed them high on the list of those who are fighting Ebola.
He said he hoped that the monitoring report would stand the test of time, and that Government through the EOC and the Health Ministry would look to the report as a way to further help their work.
Submitting the report, the Secretary-General of APPA, William Tucker, said the country has been battling with the Ebola crisis for almost six months now, and APPA has been playing an active role in the process for four of those months in helping the EOC and the Health Ministry to educate their constituents on the need for infection prevention control. Without APPA, he said, there would be no Parliament and no Government.
The APPA Secretary-General told the media that the objective of the report was to compliment Government’s effort in the fight against the epidemic.
Tucker said the report makes fifteen recommendations, including a recommendation that that in the future, political parties, local councils, traditional leaders and village heads should be involved in the recruitment and training of volunteers at community and ward levels.
The report also recommends that security and medical personnel be increased on border areas between towns, districts and villages of Ebola-affected areas.
Tucker, on behalf of other party representatives, urged Government to do more to ensure that all partners redouble their efforts to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus.
He thanked the PPRC for its support which, he said, enabled them to carry out some of APPA’s Ebola outreach plan in various parts of the country.
By Ade Campbell
Wednesday October 01, 2014