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Fear and frustration as Guinea struggles to contain Ebola outbreak PDF Print E-mail
Diaspora News
Friday, 04 April 2014 08:31

Virus has claimed 84 lives and jumped borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, raising concerns that it could sweep across region. Late last month, villagers in Guinea's remote south-eastern region of Nzérékoré were greeted by a sight so alarming that many barricaded themselves indoors. A group of doctors dressed in protective suits and helmets were visiting the centre of an Ebola epidemic that has raged for six weeks.

"People were running away from the doctors who looked like cosmonauts on their way back from the moon. We have never seen anything like it. Some locked their doors, others hid themselves. It was frightening because there were all kinds of rumours about how this disease was spreading," said Bah Mamadou, a taxi driver.

It took two more days before his neighbours began to open their doors. Such reactions highlight the uphill battle facing officials and medics as they attempt to contain one of the world's rarest and most lethal viruses, which has claimed 84 lives in the outbreak and jumped borders to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Mali.

International organisations fear it could sweep across a region with weak public health services. "Prevention is the only way to contain the Ebola spread and we are desperately trying to get the message across. Posters, leaflets, radio, text messages and TV spots – we are resorting to every possible method to reach communities far and wide," said Berenger Berehoudougou, west Africa director of the aid organisation Plan International.

Officials from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention travelled to Guinea this week to offer help, after a scare in Canada when a citizen returning from Liberia fell ill and was initially thought to have been infected.

There have been five suspected Ebola fatalities in Sierra Leone. In Liberia, where a state of emergency has closed the border with Guinea, the government said this week that the latest of its nine victims had no known links to Guinea. "We have a case in Tapeta where a hunter who has not had any contact with anyone coming from Guinea got sick," the chief medical officer, Bernice Dahn, told AFP. "He was rushed to the hospital and died 30 minutes later. He never had any interaction with someone suspected to be a carrier of the virus and he has never gone to Guinea. This an a isolated case."

Described by virologists as a "molecular shark", Ebola is passed on through bodily fluids and causes extensive internal and external bleeding. The fruit bat, a delicacy in Guinea and Liberia, is a host of the virus. The World Health Organisation believes that the virus spread from Guinea's forested regions to the densely populated capital, Conakry, through one man who travelled 200 miles from the central town of Dobala.

"Unfortunately, this one person infected both family members and healthcare workers when he went to Conakry for medical attention and died," said a WHO spokesman, Gregory Hartl. Six of the man's relatives and two other people exposed to him are being kept in isolation at a hospital.

Already struggling with a measles epidemic that has infected 1,500 people since November, Guinea's health system – which ranked last in a 2011 World Bank study of beds per capita – has struggled to cope with the outbreak. Although Guinea is the world's top exporter of bauxite, mineral riches have failed to translate into prosperity. The government – recovering from almost five decades of dictatorship – took more than a month to identify the epidemic, which appeared in early February. The Brazilian mining firm Vale has pulled its international staff from the country.

The latest infections have been passed on among family members or carers, said Sakouba Keita, a health ministry official. In one case, 10 people in one family died. "A lot of people are fleeing towns once they have any sign of a fever or headache. That's where we are psychologically today."

He said the government had a list of affected families and was placing them under 21 days' quarantine. "We also have to deal with a situation where people are using very crowded public transport from the interior to reach hospitals here. We're trying to make sure everybody hears the basic steps they can take to prevent the situation escalating," Keita said. Plan International said a co-ordinated multicountry emergency response was needed.

Last week the Senegalese music star Youssou N'Dour cancelled a concert in Conakry, fearing that a large crowd could spread the disease. Senegal's borders remain closed. Moussa Cissé, a rice trader in Senegal's southern town of Kédougou, said: "It has made things a bit difficult for us here because the weekly markets in [frontier towns] have completely shut down. People are just staying at home and trying to make ends meet."

Other countries have put in place preventive measures. Morocco has implemented strict travel controls, and Saudi Arabia has suspended visas for an estimated 10,000 Muslim pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia. Dauda Souaré, who organises Mecca pilgrimages from Conakry, said: "It's really a massive disappointment to be placed under this kind of collective measure."{jcomments on}

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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Business News

Sierra Leone Embassy & Beijing Chamber Of Commerce for Cultural Industries Launch China-Sierra Leone Hand-In-Hand International Foundation

The Sierra Leone Embassy in China in collaboration with the Beijing Chamber of Commerce for Cultural Industries on Saturday 17th June, 2017 launched the China-Sierra Leone Hand-in-Hand International Foundation with a view of cultivating good citizenship by enhancing social, environmental, cultural and economic wellbeing of communities in Sierra Leone.

It also will among others, serve as a bridge of friendship between the two nations in a bid to promote international culture and art exchanges and contribute to economic development.

Speaking at the event, Madam Kumba Alice Momoh, the embassy’s Chargé d'Affaires   referred to the launch of the China-Sierra Leone Hand-In-Hand International Foundation as “the birth of a new era during a period that Sierra Leone is celebrating 46 years of bilateral relationship with China”

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Media News

44 Journalists in Beijing for China Development Studies and Media Exchange

The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.

The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese

People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.

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Commentary

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
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View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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News - Press Release

WHO Director-General elect welcomes new funding for polio eradication

 World Health Organization Director-General elect, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed contributions and pledges of US$1.2 billion for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The pledges were made at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta, USA which is being attended by 32 000 Rotarians from around the world. 

“It is humbling to see again the power of this incredible global partnership to generate funding to fight one of the world’s most horrible and debilitating diseases,” said Dr Tedros.

 

 

A proportion of the money pledged will help WHO fund disease surveillance in more than 70 countries and enable it to provide expertise to help countries vaccinate 450 million children per year against polio. The Organization will also provide guidance on vaccination policy and participate in research into vaccine delivery methods, operational tactics and other approaches that can help accelerate eradication.

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Society -Local News

WAI-SL rescues hermaphrodite …more support needed

Women Against inhumanities Sierra Leone (WAI-SL), has over the past months embarked on fundraising for the surgery of Ibrahim Sorie Karama a hermaphrodite. The founder and CEO of Women Against inhumanities Sierra Leone (WAI-SL), Miss Michaella Sallu with her team are pleased to inform the general public both home and abroad that surgery has been successfully done on Ibrahim Sorie Kamara the 16 year old boy that was popularly seen on social media having breast enlargement.

The Bilateral Subcutaneous Mastectomy surgery was done on the 6th of June 2017 at the Holy Spirit hospital Makeni free of charge by a team of 5 surgeons from Ghana headed by Dr. Albert Painsil and assisted by our Sierra Leonean brother Dr. Abdul Jalloh with fund from Resurge Africa UK.

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Development

Sierra Leone Collateral Registry to improve access to finance for MSMEs

Minister of Finance and Economic Development and Governor of the Central Bank Monday (June 12) jointly launched the Sierra Leone Collateral Registry, an electronic public database holding information on security interests in movable property.

 

The Registry is an initiative of the Bank of Sierra Leone with technical and financial support provided by the World Bank Group to improve access to finance, particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Established under Part II of the Borrowers and Lenders Act, the Registry is a web based system that allows lenders to search for any pre-existing security interests over movable assets provided as collateral. It facilitates the use of movable assets as collateral that may remain in possession or control of the borrowers and thereby improves access to secured finance.

 

 

 

Movable assets are the main type of collateral that MSMEs, especially those in developing countries, can encumber to obtain financing. Given opportunities in agribusiness among others, the Collateral Registry regime allows farmers and entrepreneurs to unlock significant sources of capital with assets that would otherwise not be looked at by lenders as potential collateral.

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Politics

APC Secretary General Ambassador Yansaneh announces the resolutions at the June 1st NAC Meeting
EBK endorsed to continue as Chairman and Leader,continue to unite and transition the party.
 
Selection or Endorsement of Presidential Candidate who will appoint a Running Mate to be endorsed by NAC.
 
National Executive Officers must have served at regional,district or constituency level to be qualified for selection or election.
 
Must n paid up and active in the last 10 years and paid up for 7 years . 
 
Will sign an undertaken to support whoever is selected or endorsed . 
Read more...
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