The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chernor Maju Bah, has called on all Sierra Leoneans to support Government’s efforts in the fight against Ebola, and stop negative perceptions to help ensure that the virus is totally eradicated in the country.
Hon. Bah, commonly known as “Cherioco”, discussed with Awoko the successes and challenges of the just-concluded three-day “sit-at-home” exercise, and he pointed to strategies put in place to help raise awareness of the virus in the area he represents, Constituency 110. Despite the support, he said, he was disappointed at how some people had responded to the government’s efforts.
He said that since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone last May, he had been engaged in an intense education effort at the local level. He described how he and his councillors set up a task force in their constituency to educate local people about the Ebola disease. The task force had made drastic efforts, he said, and put measures in place to minimise the spread of Ebola. These measures included providing support for homes quarantined in his constituency, and in supplying logistical support to volunteer groups to help with the education effort. Despite this, he said, there were people who were unappreciative and complained of neglect.
“This is not the time to condemn or make accusations, but a time when every sierra Leonean should join hands together in their own little effort to stop the spread of the virus,” Hon. Bah said.
As an example, he said he provided foodstuffs to a quarantined home in Wilberforce, yet people there complained they had not been provided with food. This message, he asserted, sends a bad signal and sabotages the government’s efforts.
He urged Sierra Leoneans to put their ill feelings aside and to forge ahead with the fight against Ebola. This would promote a safe environment for all, as this virus has affected the country’s socio- economic development.
Hon. Bah addressed the just-concluded “Sit-at-Home” exercise, claiming it was successful and fruitful as it resulted in additional cases being identified. This, he told Awoko, enabled Ministry of Health officials and partners to respond more quickly and effectively.
There were challenges, he acknowledged, but during the sit-at-home exercise reported their sick ones to ascertain whether they were infected with Ebola, and received medical treatment which Hon Bah noted was encouraging and would help to minimise the spread of the disease.
He strongly condemned people who violated the exercise, and called for the law to deal with them appropriately to set an example for the future.
The Ebola fight should be a collective effort from all corners and facets of the society, he said, and he expressed hope that with all the measures being put in place Ebola would be eradicated and done with in Sierra Leone. He commended the Ministry of Health, health workers, and the international community for their efforts and the sense of responsibility displayed to fight the Ebola. He called on health workers to continue to execute their jobs despite the difficult challenges they face.
By Mariam Bah
Wednesday September 24, 2014