More than 50 residents of Marampa Chiefdom in Port Loko District are currently facing an Ebola crisis, following the quarantining of an entire Magbethor village and four houses in the township of Lunsar.
Circumstances leading to the quarantining of Magbethor Village; a remote locality situated a few kilometres off Masiaka-Makeni highway in the north of Sierra Leone, followed the mysterious death of what could be referred to as the first Ebola victim in a tiny village comprising ten houses.
Five days after the death of Pa Musa Kamara (the first victim), a stream of deaths in less than eight days followed, which included ten other members of his family. Two of such deaths, according to report, took place in Kenema, where contact tracers (following proof that they were Ebola positive) had transferred all suspected cases for treatment.
As a result of these deaths, a decision to quarantine the entire village and four other houses in Lunsar that had suffered similar circumstance, was arrived at; with apparently no sober plan to provide food supply for those homes.
In the midst of this food crisis among quarantine families; who are approximately more than 40, Khadija Bah-Wakefield, a social scientist cum policy adviser, and an indigene of Marampa Chiefdom, has provided a total of 14 bags of rice, including cooking ingredients and nutritional support to all the quarantined homes across the chiefdom.
The Philanthropist, as being referred to by beneficiaries, said that she actually made the donation as part of her support to the government’s fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak, and to show compassion and care for his people, who she considered “ vulnerable.” She revealed that having grown up in the chiefdom, she would want to give back especially in a trying moment like this in the country. She urged all to come on-board and challenge the disease, as, she suggested, it is only through cohesive approach that the fight against Ebola will be won.
The Chief of the village, Pa Santigie Koroma lamented that since the time the village was cordoned off, no serious attention particularly in the area of food supply has been rendered to them.
He explained that they as inhabitants are very much disappointed with authorities of the chiefdom, as, he alleged, none of them have paid a single visit to them from the date the order to quarantine them came.
He expressed profound thanks to the Khadija Bah-Wakefield for her kind support in providing the most needed items to them at such a crucial moment. He said that their situation in the village is pathetic, as farming activities have been seriously jeopardized. He said that as rules of quarantine demands, they are not allowed to visit their farms. As a result, birds and rodents are presently feasting on their rice and crops with utmost liberty.
He made a call on authorities to provide needed life-support items to them in such a moment of grief.
Three officers from the Operational Support Division (OSD) complained that they are equally vulnerable in their execution of duty, as they are presently dwelling in the home of late Pa Musa Kamara who presumably died of Ebola.
However, it was reported that health workers visit the village every morning to know the health status of inhabitants.
By Poindexter Sama
Thursday September 18, 2014