Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Default Text Size
 
OOPS. Your Flash player is missing or outdated.Click here to update your player so you can see this content.
Featured Links:
Banner
ExpoNet
EXpoNet Services!
Banner
Subscribe Now
Subscribe Now.
EBOLA: A NEW FORM OF DENIAL IN THE MARATHON FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Editorial
Written by BITING THE BULLET WITH MBATILUI-+232 88 028 041/+232 76 748 827   
Monday, 01 September 2014 17:21

“EBOLA is here, is real, is deadly, and is preventable, treatable, but not curable. So be RED ALERT!”

“Conscience is a dreadful thing when it accuses the mind and the pettiest forging thing is an individual in the prison of their own conscience”

In the context of the prevailing circumstances, it is an indisputable fact that the knowledge and acceptance of the Ebola outbreak has increased dramatically and in essence the initial denial syndrome has wane dramatically. With the tragic deaths of over 400 Sierra Leoneans (including some 40 medical personnel), the imposition of and the biting effects of the public state of emergency (including drastic restrictions on movements and other social activities as well as the indefinite deferral of BECE, Private WASCE and reopening of schools), and the scaling down, suspension, and in some cases closure of businesses including airlines that has culminated into the lattest sacking of the Health Minister (long overdue)and the restructuring of the National Ebola Operations Centre, it is the author’s candid view that MOST (if not all) Sierra Leoneans are now fully aware of the existence and grueling consequences of Ebola.

Against this premise, I can’t agree more with the popular ongoing debate that what is imperative now is the provision of badly needed logistics including PPEs, disinfectants, and sustained adequate support to those infected and affected by Ebola (quarantined areas, families of deceased, and survivors). Suffice to say that the bulk of resources mobilised locally, nationally, and internationally should be directed towards that end and not the belated heightened social mobilisation activities being organized across the country including the Le 7.8 billion dished out to MPs (who are never health professionals).

Fast forward, the new phase of denial that has surfaced is arguably even more dangerous than the initial one. The first one has to do with the denial of representatives of the MOHS on all media outlets. At every opportunity, they continue to deny or resist the realities on the ground with every fibre of their being. In the process, the “spin doctoring” even contradict themselves thereby exposing their dishonesty as they struggle to (mis)inform the public. Even more disheartening is the fact that as they doctor the information, the ordinary people on the ground always know the reality of the situation.

The same is the case with representatives of the office of government spokesperson. At this critical point in time, the ing thing to do is not to continue to be deceitful (just to justify errors or blunders just to save the faces of their inefficient spin masters and in essence keep their own jobs) but rather to be PATRIOTIC. So far, all the regular government spin doctors since the outbreak of this catastrophic Ebola have at best been apologetic.  That is, after initial futile denials, they end up window dressing one erroneous act or omission after the other once overwhelmed by the facts on the ground. This has been the unfortunate situation since the Ebola outbreak in May 2014. If President Koroma’s Friday afternoon decision to sack the former Minister of Health and effect strategic changes in the National Ebola Operations Centre (all coming after several on-the-spots visits of the President to certain strategic EBOLA management health facilities last week) did not send a warning shot to those deceitful spin doctors, then nothing will.

Another level of denial is coming from the majority of public health personnel who because of both genuine and perceived fear are refusing to either report for work or to see patients; Ebola and non-Ebola alike. When the ordinary people who are bearing the brunt of such unprofessional behaviours continue to complain through the various media outlets across the country, arm-chair professionals (especially their mouth-pieces) who more often than not are stationed in either Freetown or the Provincial Cities, dishonestly dismiss the genuine concerns with all sorts of ready-made excuses. Well, to those deceitful spin doctors, the fall of a yellow leaf should be a warning shut to the green ones. Lunta!

Frankly, if denial of the rights of persons at Ebola holding/observation centres and those quarantined by those entrusted with the responsibility to support them is not a deadly denial, then nothing can be. From Kailahun to Kenema and right across the country, those quarantined are constantly complaining about inadequate provision of food items, water, and other basic necessities they were exposed to hitherto, and now entitle to as a result of their “open detentions”. It is an open secret that many people quarantined are denied medical and psychological care in addition to food and other supplies. The lattest cases include two suspected cases that were allegedly starved to death in Zimmi town, Makpele Chiefdom, Pujehun District.

The business people are also in vagrant denial of the public state of emergency by wickedly escalating the prices of essential commodities thereby making life very unbearable for the ordinary people. At least there is a 25% increase on the prices of foodstuffs and Ebola related items since the Ebola outbreak in May 2014. And all this under the watchful eyes of personnel of the Ministry of Trade and Industries. What a denial of the rights of ordinary people!

Also, contrary to the existing fact that the Police are in connivance with certain individuals to flout the restriction of movement to and from Kenema and Kailahun Districts, the police are vigorously denying that fact. Equally, with the tacit connivance of the Police and traffic wardens, commercial motor drivers are in open denial of the emergency regulations against body contacts (don’t touch) through overloading especially along the provincial routes both day and night. Finally, recipients of Ebola resources are in total denial of the public request to redirect the resources at their disposal towards the provision of logistics including PPEs, chlorine and other disinfectants, food items, and other necessities. Conclusively, until the issues mentioned above are thoroughly addressed, the new stain of DENIAL will continue unabated.

 

Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

Read more...

Business News

PARLIAMENT RATIFIES TWO AGREEMENTS TO IMPROVE ON PORTS FACILITIES

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.

Read more...

Media News

"President Koroma is a big disappointment to press freedom" - SLAJ

Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has said that President Ernest Bai Koroma has disappointed the media on press freedom in the country. 

“Successive governments have given us false hopes on the repeal of the criminal libel law. The politicians have lied to us. They have taken us to be big fools. President Koroma is our biggest disappointment. We had high hopes in him but he failed us woefully. So we will not trust any politician again, because when they get into office they forget about their promises,” said Nasralla.
 
Nasralla was speaking last Friday while formally launching a report on criminal defamation laws in Africa by PEN Sierra Leone at the SLAJ Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown. 
 
He recalled that before he was first elected President of the Republic in 2007, President Koroma was a staunch campaigner against criminal libel law in Sierra Leone, but when he became President he suddenly had a different view.
Read more...

Commentary

Reasons why Sierra Leoneans Must Think beyond Tribal and Regional Lines Before Casting their Ballots This Time

As the national or general elections loom in Sierra Leone and, as a true citizen, I solemnly pray and hope with all hopes that Sierra Leoneans of the voting age will consider carefully who they would vote for, come March 2018. The divisive and immature nature of politics as it exists in Sierra Leone has, to a greater extent, contributed to the country lagging behind nearly all other countries in terms of progressive development. My readers should be mindful of the fact that certain countries in Africa would rather develop retrogressively than progressively, a situation wherein governments embark on ego-boosting programs that aren’t beneficial to the average citizen.

A government which expends its energy for the benefit of the people is a progressive government and that is what Sierra Leoneans want at this time after being in the doldrums for ages. It is therefore absolutely necessary for fellow citizens to refrain from casting their valued votes in favor of candidates because of tribal or regional affiliations but on how genuine and capable that candidate is, otherwise stagnation in progress is bound to follow.

Read more...

View Point

Youth Unemployment Is A Killer Virus In Sierra Leone

“I studied Sociology at NjalaUniversity and graduated in 2015 but still unemployed despite several interviews being attended. I am currently awaiting my MSc at Njala University which is to be awarded early next year,” said 29 year old MabintyKamara.

“I graduated in 2012 with Honours from the Department of Accounting, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. I have sent several job applications; the only long job I got was with the International Medical Corps during the deadly Ebola virus and since then no job. I was also a volunteer teacher but the Minister of Education, Science and Technology did not approve me and others after almost a year of voluntary service so I quit,” said 31 year old Mohamed LaminKanneh.

In Sierra Leone, despite the numerous promises made by President Ernest BaiKoroma to figuratively ‘lay his life for the youth,’ unemployment among youth is one of the highest with no end in sight to reduce the spate of this social menace. According to the United Nations Development Program, approximately 70% of youth are underemployed or unemployed and an estimated 800,000 youth today are actively searching for employment.

Read more...

News - Press Release

Sierra Leone receives US$10 Million Supplemental Financing from World Bank as support to Landslide and Flooding

FREETOWN, December 13, 2017 —The World Bank Group has approved aSupplemental Financing (SF) in the amount of US$10 million to help the Government of Sierra Leone meet immediate needs associated with the landslide and flooding disaster that struck Freetown on August 14, 2017.The SF is a grant, provided as a supplemental budget support operation that will flow directly into the Government’s budget.

The funding, under the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), will ensure that the reforms supported under thisoperation remain on track and are implemented without the risk of delays due to competing capacity or budgetary priorities arising from the post-disaster recovery. It will also help with the rebuilding of critical infrastructuredestroyed during the landslide and flooding.

Since the end of the Ebola epidemic, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has initiated substantive reforms to boost productivity, restore fiscal stability, and gradually rebuild buffers. The Government initiated substantive reforms, focusing on agriculture, fisheries and energy, supported by the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), to boost productivity and start rebuilding the country's buffers.

Read more...

Society -Local News

ANNIE WALSH WINS HUMAN RIGHTS DEBATE
Fatmata Binta Jalloh Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School has won this years’ Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone Inter-Secondary School debate on the topic ‘respect for human rights as a pre-requisite for a politically tolerant and peaceful 2018 elections’.  
The debate which was held at the Sierra Leone Library Board with five Secondary Schools participating is part of series of activities undertaken by HRCSL in commemorating the International Human Rights Day Celebration on December 10th, 2017. Fatmata Binta Jalloh of the Annie Walsh Memorial School came first by defeating Amos Claudius Gordon from the Prince of Wales who came second, Abubakar Marrah from Saint Edwards Secondary School came third and Kelfala Kamara of the Government Model Secondary School came fourth and Evelyn T. Ahorney from the Saint Joseph’s Secondary School coming fifth.
Read more...

Development

World Bank Group Boosts Financing for West African Power Pool Regional Power Transmission Project

FREETOWN, December13, 2017 —The World Bank Group on November 17, 2017 approved Additional Financing in the amount of US$59.57 million to West African Power Pool (WAPP) - Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (CLSG) PowerInterconnection Project, which aims to increase electricity supply in the four participating countries.

The project will interconnect the four participating countries into the 225 kV (kilo volt) regional energy market in West Africa, and will also enable the connection to the WAPP of the planned hydropower plants in Bumbuna Extension, Yiben and Bekongor in Sierra Leone and Mount Coffee in Liberia and other future generation projects.

The Project will provide residents of Greater Monrovia Area in Liberia; Bo, Kenema and the Western Areas in Sierra Leone; and the Forest Region of Guinea, with improvements in power supplies in the short-term. It also pursues a regional infrastructure developmental approach that will provide over the medium- to long-term adequate electricity to the people of the four countries in a more efficient and cost effective way, boosting economic and social development.

Read more...

Politics

It will not be Business as Usual…Bio assures Diaspora

He was passionate, confident and assuring as he addressed hundreds of Sierra Leoneans at the prestigious Royal Regency Hall in London on Saturday 9th December 2017 with a very simple message that as the next President it will not be business as usual. For a man who has a solid track record as a disciplinarian, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio continues to attract many voters who feel the country needs a strong and disciplined leadership.

Cataloguing the current state of the country, Bio spoke about a divided country, the poor drowning in poverty, rich swimming in affluence, poor governance, battered economy, high public debt, third hungriest country, high inflation among others . He also reminded his audience that many of the things which necessitated the war such as bad governance, mismanagement of the economy, injustice have been the features of the current APC Government.

However, Bio's message was not just about the doom and gloom but also making a case why he is the right choice that the country needs. He spoke about his track record, experience and how he has always put his country first. "Some have come with slogan, country first, but I served my country first at a very tender age. I did not go around the world to work and come back old to say country first. When I was young I gave my life to our country," a passionate Bio said.

Read more...
Copyright © 2017 expotimesonline. All rights reserved.