WATCH the press conference on Youtube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6ZDsPeCrqE
The Deputy Government Spokesman, Mr. Agibu Tejan-Jalloh, last Friday clarified the Sierra Leone Government’s response to the outbreak of Ebola in the country and efforts being made by President Ernest Koroma and the government to contain the virus. Mr. Tejan-Jalloh made the clarification while addressing a press conference called by the Concerned Citizens of New Jersey Fighting Ebola at the Franklin Township Municipal Complex in Somerset, New Jersey.
MR. AJIBU TEJAN-JALLOH ON THE PODIUM
Mr. Tejan-Jalloh said that Ebola came to Sierra Leone at a time that nobody expected it. The deadly virus also came when Sierra Leoneans knew nothing about it .It was monumental, he said. The Government, he expressed , lacked capacity to handle the outbreak. It did not have the medical facilities or technology to nip the virus in the bud.
SIERRA LEONEANS AND COUNCILMEN AFTER THE PRESS CONFERENCE
The Deputy Spokesman then dealt comprehensively with criticisms that had been levied against the Government that it did not close the borders with Guinea and Liberia who first had the virus. He said that it was absolutely impossible to keep people from crossing the borders which are very porous. Sierra Leone, he said, has over 8, 000 soldiers . Even if the soldiers had lined the borders, he explained, there was no way that they would have been able to stop people from border crossings because of the porousness of the borders.
MR. JALLOH AND THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE PORTS AUTHORITY , MR. ABU BANGURA , WHO ALSO TOOK PART IN THE EVENT
Mr. Tejan-Jalloh also spoke about the cordial relations between Sierra Leone and the neighbouring countries. He explained the good neighbourliness between the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and how it was impossible to stop people interacting with each other. People on the Sierra Leone side buy their foodstuffs in Guinea and they even use the Guinean currency in their transactions.
American Municipal officials taking part in the press conference
Additionally, the World Health Organization ( WHO ) , who had the know-how in dealing with the disease from their experience in the Congo in 1976 , advised that closing the borders was not a viable option. The Deputy Spokesman said that the three countries were also bound by the Mano River Union and that there was Ebola in the three states so it was not a viable solution to close the borders.
MR. FODAY MANSARAY, THE COORDINATOR OF THE EVENT, ON THE PODIUM
MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU ADDRESSING THE PRESS CONFERENCE
The Deputy Spokesman however too his time to highlight how hard President Ernest Bai Koroma has been working to attract the attention of the international community and stakeholders. He admitted that international response was slow, but that aid is pouring in now.
MESSRS ALIMAMY TURAY AND PAVI JALLOH
He also enumerated all the structures that the government, with the help of the international community, has put in place to tackle the Ebola and he gave assurance that the Government would defeat Ebola.
COUNCILMAN DR. KRAMER ON THE PODIUM
He appealed to the international community to help Sierra Leone tackle Ebola or it would find Ebola at its doors .
Ms. Inez Konjoh speaking
THE WHOLE PROGRAM WAS STREAMED LIVE AND PLACED ON YOUTUBE BY MR. HAMJAT JOLOMY BAH . CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO WATCH THE ENTIRE PRESS CONFERENCE.