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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

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.

Read more...

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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