By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
It was now time for bygones to be bygones and for people to resolve their differences irrespective of the depth of their misunderstanding, and forge ahead with the concerted role in ensuring the achievement of the ultimate end of Ebola in their District. This has not only been the resolve of the Pioneers of what is now known to be ‘Humanitarian Work on Ebola’ but a clarion call for every well meaning Descendant of the Northern District of Port Loko, to see and embrace the need for a total eradication of the Ebola virus from their home.
This move became topical barely a week after a cross section of the membership of the Association of Humanitarian Work on Ebola, paid a courtesy call to the Coordinator of the Ebola Response Centre in the District- Hon. Raymond Kabia to brief him of their intended purpose. The Leadership of this Association has since intensified their strategies in getting the issue of Ebola behind their backs. Members of this Association have been in a number of Places with particular reference to the hotspot Chiefdoms of Kaffu Bullom and Marampa.
At Madina / Lungi in the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom where the first stop was made, Madam Rugiatu Neneh Turay who is referred as the brain behind the formation of this Body gave an overview of the aims and aspirations of the Association. She said their principal objective is to redeem the image of the District from the negative perceptions now being popularised in several places, that Port Loko is a setback in the fight against Ebola. She said every ‘Foday, Abu and Fatu’ should now come on board to salvage the District from this embarrassing situation.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other members of the Association who availed their presence including –Ali Badara Tarawalli, Mohamed Kabia, Zainab Bangura, Mohamed Speaking Kamara and Mohamed Dollar. Adams Solomon is a Health Practitioner in Pujehun District. He shared his personal experience of how the virus was successfully combated in that part of the country which he attributed to the level of compliance of the Locals. He spoke of the time when stringent measures had to be adopted such as the restriction of worshipers from going for Mosque or Church prayers.
The theme of the meetings held in all the other places visited has to do with the intensification of the Surveillance Pillar through which people were encouraged to cultivate the culture of ‘Neighbourhood Watch particularly in Quarantined Homes, and for them to refrain from public gathering. Mohamed Gbondo Sesay emphasized the need for sharing correct pieces of information which he noted is crucial in nabbing the spread of transmission. He went on to denounce the rumour that the Ebola Patients collected from their Chiefdom to the Treatment Centres in Port Loko, were being poisoned and killed. He said that is farfetched and must not be entertained. He said the essence of taking people to treatment centres is to help them regain their health status adding that there is no way through which any responsible government will have pleasure in the killing its people. He was supported by Zainab Bangura who catalogued the series of setback the Country as a whole has been reduced to.
One of the issues identified by Members of the this Association is the complaint that most pregnant Women hardly have access to medical service and are often left with the only alternative of going to the locals for assistance. This is in addition to the fact that people were still engaged in secret burials while many more were contriving escapes from quarantined Homes. It was further noticed that the supplies of food to quarantined homes are incomplete for what is required for a normal cooking.
The Members of the Humanitarian Work on Ebola therefore thought it wise to intervened in ensuring that the missing ingredients are provided to complement the efforts of both Government and its Development Partners. The Team has already commenced the provision of these additional condiments to the Inmates of Quarantined Homes at Rotifunk and Tagrin in Kaffu Bullom, Komrabai in the Maforki and Mamusa in the Marampa Chiefdoms respectively.
Although this Association is at its formative stage, yet it has recorded a number of successes. It has succeeded in attracting the attention of friends and relatives in the Diaspora with particular reference to the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Perhaps the occurrence at Madina/ Lungi in the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom could be an outstanding example of the capability of this Association to unite people for the common good of the various Localities.
It would interest you in knowing that the Ward Councillor and the Section Chief have always been in disagreement even on issues of common concern. This confession was made to the public hearing by both Councillor Sheku Tejan Saccoh and was buttressed by the Section Chief himself- Pa Alikali Sillah. According to them, this was the very first time they have actually come to put aside their differences and resolve to operate as team in ensuring that the Ebola virus is eradicated without further delay.
You now have the opportunity to look at some of the pictures that would help you see how it all went in the respective Localities of Kaffu Bullom, Maforki and Marampa with a cross section of the membership of this Association addressing and distributing additional food items to inmates of quarantine Homes……