From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone News : Health Workers Dying Ceaselessly from Ebola
By Our Correspondents
Jul 22, 2014, 16:20

Panic was in Kenema City yesterday 21st July 2014 as four popular and dedicated health workers attached to Ebola center located inside Kenema Government Hospital, have lost their lives in ceaseless stream (fiti-fata) of deaths of frontline health workers infected with terrible Ebola virus in both Kailahun & Kenema epicenters for the disease. The deceased, Mbalu Fonnie (in photo at top), Basidatu Sheriff, Princess Iye Gborie and a male, Mr. Alex Moigboi, had all been very active to fight Ebola since the outbreak occurred.


Sources also reveal that other health workers who were attending to Ebola patients are currently sick with Ebola. At Taskforce Meeting held yesterday in the Kenema Government Hospital, Heath Workers demand immediate relocation of Kenema Ebola Center, improved health workersí welfare, provision of more efficient protective clothings, more food to patients and better care for them. They are also requesting Medicine Sans Frontier (MSF) to quickly take over Kenema Ebola Management Center as they allege Ministry of Health & Sanitation is ďincapableĒ of protecting the staff.

Head of Health For all Coalition, Mr. Charles Mambu, told journalists that health workers demands were well in place and that if the authorities fail to adhere,  it will lead to chaos.


The District Medical Officer, Dr. Mohamed Vandi said all the concerns were in place and the relocation issue has been raised from many quarters. He said since the outbreak of Ebola the hospital is virtually empty.


In his response the District Council Local Government Chair, Senesie Mansaray, said government will soon consider the request but the relocation of the Ebola Management center will not occur immediately.

The Most Honourable Chief Whip Claude Kamanda: What Next Sir?
It is recalled that during presentation of Health Minister Miatta Kargbo to Parliament on June 17th 2014, many elected MPs, like Chief Whip Hon. Claude Kamanda, had applauded the so-called steps outlined by the Health Minister Miatta Kargbo, supposedly aimed at protecting nurses and other frontline health staff from becoming infected with the Ebola virus. She had been defending her ministry of allegations that her staff were dying as a result of inefficiency on her part.


This newspaper can categorically confirm that a lot of what the minister said in Parliament that day was just a bunch of shameless lies, including but not limited to tales of protective cloths for nurses and health workers. Instead of saying the truth of the matter, Madam Kargbo spent time castigating those of her staff who had died.


One of the dead health staff, Miatta Kargbo accused of staying away from work for about a month. (the minister was lying).


Another one she accused of being promiscuous to extent of being the extra-marital (tap to me) girlfriend of a married CHO whom she accused the dead nurse of sleeping in same room with hence "most definitely" catching the infection from her dead married boyfriend, also infected with Ebola whilst working for the health ministry. The minister then went on to publicly name the married male health staff with no considerations for feelings of the manís sorrowing wife he had left behind when he caught Ebola & died.


Furthermore, the minister loudly boasted in Parliament that Sulaiman Kanneh Saidu, the Community Health Officer for Koindu, Kissi Teng, was professionally following her ministryís instructions as to how to protect himself and so she boasted as she clicked her lying fingers in the air, of how, he was "still standing" whilst she had derided the 'promiscuous' nurse was dead. (the truth is that even as the minister stood shamelessly lying to the House of Parliament, Mr. Kanneh Saidu was already by then, infected with Ebola and later admitted with Ebola in Kailahun Ebola center).


However, fortunately for the minister, many of the elected representatives of people of Sierra Leone, including Majority Leader Hon. Ibrahim Bundu and Minority Leader Hon. Bernadette Lahai, all innocently clapped for Miatta Kargbo unaware that the minister was heartlessly lying to Parliamentarians with a straight and shameless face.


The innocuous House of Parliament, later that week, even issued a press release against this newspaper to the effect saying they were satisfied with the Health Minister's performance in front of them. This newspaper, in our June 18th 2014 edition and again today, is categorically stating that Health Minister Miatta Kargbo lied to Parliament on June 17th 2014, whilst speaking about her alleged protection of frontline health workers.


It is also a fact that the same health minister was, over the weekend, presiding over the wasting of her ministry's precious time by issuing a barely comprehensible press release about a development at the PCMH Cottage hospital that saw a suspected Ebola patient escape from Isolation observation without waiting for the results of her blood tests. The spelling mistakes were so many all over the so-called government update, that it raised many eyebrows.


ďAt least spelling mistakes do not kill nurses unlike other grievous mistakes that the ministry has done since Ebola broke out in Sierra Leone,Ē said a trained doctor writing on social media.

This paper remains seized of this issue.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.