Videos which were played on national television yesterday evening and photos published in tabloids, of situation in Sulima must have moved many people. I was recently in the area but for logistical reasons, could not move to Sulima to see first-hand the sufferings of people of Sorogbema Chiefdom.
However, I stayed at same guesthouse where personnel from an international NGO also stayed. They told me most categorically that field tests so far on infected patients, have been NEGATIVE for Cholera. This means, as of now, we do not know what is causing Sierra Leoneans along the Liberian border to suffer from a strange enteric fever.
Whilst speaking to local authorities during my trip, I also learnt that this same strange diarrhoea, vomiting and fever had recently attacked Liberian villages on the other side of the Mano River. The Liberian Government had speedily moved to evacuate several affected villages on their side whilst samples have been taken and sent overseas for further tests.
I am shocked that until now, no Central Government medical teams of doctors and clinicians have been dispatched to help the community health officers in Sorogbema and assess the crisis. It is time for our Government to take this crisis a little bit more seriously than they are doing. Let us keep our fingers crossed that we are not in the throes of some kind of Ebola-like fever which the authorities are under-estimating. If Liberia can be proactive with this illness, Sierra Leone should also be proactive.
Over to Sierra Leone Government of H.E. President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
¬© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.