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REMEMBERING DR SHEIK UMAR KHAN - THE CHIEF EBOLA DOCTOR IN SIERRA LEONE PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by M C Bah, Atlanta, GA-USA, former NDA Presidential Aspirant   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:34

Our nation today mourned the passing of a giant medical crusader - Dr. Sheik Omar Khan who lost the battle he once fearlessly waged against the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. The Chief Ebola doctor passed away on July 29, 2014 at the Doctors without Border treatment center in Kailahun District. Today, we are heart broken by the sudden loss of a ‘national hero’ who captivated our imagination and inspired our moral instinct that there are still angels and prophets among us. That we can find hope in the illuminating heart of people like Dr. Khan who made our nation less dangerous against the deadliest disease in human history.

Dr. Sheik Omar Khan may not have come from Bethlehem in Palestine or Mecca in Saudi Arabia; but he left an indelible message of human compassion, a unique character of self-sacrifice and what it means to serve humanity even if it means losing your “cherished life” as he once mentioned to reporters. Even a Sierra Leonean who had never travelled to distance shores or not find his names on international headlines before and never shake hands with Kings and Presidents could save more than 100 lives by his simple God- fearing gift of an “agape love” – a redemptive action that requires no return but genuine goodwill to all.

In the midst of this deadly virus, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan taught us what we can do as Sierra Leoneans. That we can chose to only help our families, villages, towns and tribesmen and then build a bleak future for our next generation or we can confront our challenges and fears together and save many lives while transforming our communities and nation into thriving centers of economic development. Dr. Khan’s life on this earth reveals to us: we can be a blessing to others by doing extraordinary things.

That greatness is not who is the fastest runner at the Olympic games or the winners at the battlefields, but who among us that can make the sheered sacrifice to saving others from either ruthless tyranny, extreme poverty and the fight against epidemic diseases like Ebola. Dr Khan is to the fight against Ebola Virus in Sierra Leone as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the struggle against racial inequality and social injustice in America. Both men were anointed by God to take on an impossible task of changing the world and serving mankind. Both men did not pass the age of 39 years old.

As we mourned the passing of this great giant who led the war against the deadly invasion of Ebola from the Eastern frontiers of Sierra Leone; we should never forget that he did not die in vain. Dr. Khan’s life was the missile defense system that prevented the viral onslaught of the Ebola against our innocent people in Sierra Leone. Like the laser fever disease which he was also instrumental in fighting against in Kenema and Tongo; God had prepared him for bigger challenges to come. Sierra Leone could have been mercilessly overcome by the first outbreak of Ebola without the gifted hands of this fearless and courageous man.

If Dr. Khan could talk to the heath workers today who are the first responders to Ebola victims, he would say to them: my life is a lesson for you to continue the fight and we can win if we do not despair and loss faith in ourselves. And in the tragedy of diseases, our souls and characters are tested for human elevation. That pain and suffering can be redemptive and it can shake the unwanted settled behaviors to blossom to the best that good human deeds can perfect. That a world without challenges will be a place where mistakes are repeated and no lessons can be learned.

Dr. Khan’s life will be forever stenciled in our national conscience not because of how much money he may have in his bank accounts or the luxurious mansions he may have and the beautiful family he left behind; it is his distinct human courage and his act of unimaginable selflessness to lead us in our darkest days as a worried nation. He may not have been buried in a tomb or witnessed state funerals by the attendance of world leaders; but to many of us – he was our Nelson Mandela who led the crusade against a ferocious epidemic that still shivers the spine of an innocent people.

Like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India who dined with people with leprosy and fed the hungry, Dr. Khan epitomized the best that Sierra Leone can be. He was the perfect soul that reminds us that our nation can be great if we show our true human character of care and compassion to one another. I can hear Dr.Khan saying to politicians today: do more to help our people. We are here on earth for a short time – open labs centers in Jui and waterloo, train more nurses to protect themselves against the virus, do more prevention and containment. We can overcome Ebola.”

Indeed, no single life has grief-stricken a nation like the passing of a man who has shown us the way to be humble citizen of our sovereign nation. In his death, he left behind a nation today that needs to practice his example of looking out for the most vulnerable among us. That by eradicating poverty and diseases, we can become a safer and more prosperous nation. But such ambitious works can be achieved through the personality and character like what he has exemplified – not greed and treacherousness, ego –centrism and contempt for ethnic diversity – but a Sierra Leone that produces more Dr. Omar Khans – who are not afraid to die in saving the lives of others.

May your soul rest in peace, Doctor and May God protect your family forever. And May God bless Sierra Leone.

 

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

ACC CAPACITATES SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK STAFF ON ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION ISSUES

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.

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Media News

Two veteran Journalists, now in the United States have paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador

Two very respected and veteran Journalists who are in the United States of America for various reasons have called on Sierra Leone’s Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens not only to appreciate the work of the Embassy, but also to pay courtesy as protocol demands.

Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson, former Lecturer Fourah Bay College, former Director of Information Ministry of Information and Communications, Former Director Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), Former Chairman Independent Media Commission (IMC) and stringer French News Agency  etc. is on vacation and Mr. Cyril Juxon Smith Director Information and Communications House of Parliament, former Acting Director General Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and former UNESCO Media Consultant  is in the United States of America to attend the funeral of his father.

Speaking at the Ambassador’s residence on 4821 Colorado Avenue, Washington DC  Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson said “Thank  you Amr. Stevens for accommodating us in the middle of your tight schedule, and also to discuss with us in a homely spirit.

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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

Regent village head calls on LAB to tackle domestic violence

The village head for Regent, Ms. Jokomie Browne has called on the Legal Aid Board to help curb the increase in incidence of domestic violence in the Regent Community in the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.

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Society -Local News

250 LAB trains staff on Alternative Dispute Resolution

A hundred and twenty-five staff and volunteers of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board including lawyers and paralegals have benefited from a four-day training on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the Stadium Hostels in Freetown from the 24 to the 27 July 2017.

Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 

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Development

30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.

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Politics

News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
 
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
 
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
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