ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE PRESS RELEASE (Freetown – Tuesday - TopicsExpress


ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE PRESS RELEASE (Freetown – Tuesday December 2nd, 2014) Since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has continued to support efforts of government and our development partners to contain the spread of the virus in the country. Our leadership and members have worked tirelessly to educate citizens about available preventive and curative measures and in monitoring quarantined homes and isolated communities, while observing the work of the rapid response and burial teams. In line with our support for the efforts of government, the SLPP recognized the decision of the President to transform the EOC into the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) under the leadership of the former Minister of Defence. The government had promised that such transformation would have helped to contain the spread of the virus and even eradicate it. Unfortunately however, in the month since this restructuring, the country has seen an exponential increase in the number of new cases as well as deaths. The month of November accounts for a staggering 1,869 new infections; which today constitutes a third of the total number of confirmed cases. This current state of affairs is rather disquieting especially in light of the increased international logistical, technical and financial support that has poured into the country; as well as the significantly scaled up national efforts of the media, continuing to implement an excellent behavioural change campaign. While we also acknowledge the efforts of President Koroma in engaging local, traditional and religious leaders on the intricacies of the disease and the available preventive and curative methods, we believe that the persistently bleak daily updates only depict a depressing reality that we certainly have not yet found a solution to this outbreak. Also, our nation’s failure to meet the target of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to treat 70% of Ebola patients and burying 70% of victims safely by 1st December only reinforces the precarious position our nation still finds itself. Although we remain cautiously optimistic that as a resilient people who have rebounded from several levels of tragedy and disaster before, we can recover from this, regrettably even that confidence now appears to have been overstretched by the horrible November statistics. We call on fellow Sierra Leoneans to be much more vigilant in ensuring that we rigidly adhere to the emergency and health protocols in place and continue to sensitise and educate our brothers and sisters who are still in denial. We also call on government to: • Strengthen the quarantine system through the provision of round the clock security presence in all quarantined homes under strict supervision by middle cadre and senior officers and the Office of National Security, and to address the constant claim of their current intermittent absence from their areas of deployment and other vulnerabilities. • Promptly notify and immediately quarantine homes of victims of the virus and the timely delivery of quality and sufficient food to the quarantined homes for the 21days quarantine period. This will address the present situation of quarantined households escaping from quarantine homes is search of food and money. • Prompt payment and a review of the quantum of all emoluments due to health workers at all levels who continue to sacrifice for our nation in the frontlines of the fight against this deadly disease. • Increase the numbers of contact tracers and improve their conditions of service as they are a major part of the ongoing fight in the frontlines to defeat this virus that has persisted in ravaging our communities. • Adopt a much more robust approach in overcoming the customary rites that continues to influence our rural compatriots in treating the infected and in burying the dead. • Reinforce and support the efforts of Local Authorities in strengthening the implementation and adherence mechanism in enforcing existing bye laws in their communities. • Engage countries that continue to bar citizens from the Ebola Virus infected West African nations from visiting or transiting through their countries especially when they include delegations representing key democratic institutions in international forums that are crucial to the development of our nation and its nascent democracy. • As we fight to conquer this deadly scourge in our midst let us take full cognizance of its medium and long term socio economic impact and start the preparation of a roadmap for post Ebola recovery that is the product of a united vision. • Establish a Post Ebola Fund that will address any future recurrence as the history of the virus has taught us that it always recurs in the nations it infects and to strengthen our weak health infrastructure to withstand future public health challenges and • Finally, we implore Government to review its current arrangement with the British Government in a bid to ensure that their intervention graduates from observer status to that of active participants in the area of enforcement and treatment in our overall effort to contain an outbreak that is fastly getting out of hand. Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie National Secretary General © Aaronette
Posted on: Thu, 04 Dec 2014 10:16:11 +0000

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