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COCORIOKO » 2014 » July

Archive for July, 2014

Ebola Sensitization : Let us concentrate on the fight against the deadly disease

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

EBOLA EDUCATION 1

EBOLA EDUCATION 2

EBOLA EDUCATION 3

 

EBOLA EDUCATION

Sierra Leone president urges more robust WHO Ebola operations

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

PREZZOATWHO 2

Cape Town (dpa) – Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma Thursday criticized the World Health Organisation (WHO) for not doing enough to halt the Ebola virus, a day after declaring a state of emergency in the country. 

Koroma visited the WHO’s local office in the capital, Freetown, early Thursday only to find that it was closed “with no sign that there is an emergency in the country,” the government said in a statement.

Considering the extent of the crisis, the WHO’s operations centre should be “in full swing on a 24-hour basis,” said Koroma.
The news comes after Sierra Leone’s president declared a state of emergency in the country, where 233 people have died of Ebola and 533 others have been infected.

“The disease is beyond the scope of any one country, or community, to defeat,” Koroma said.
Koroma ordered all of those infected with the virus to be quarantined. He also restricted public meetings and gatherings and cancelled all foreign trips by government officials.
WHO officials say the current Ebola outbreak in three countries in West Africa – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – is the deadliest on record.

As of July 31, 1,323 cases have been confirmed, are probable or suspected, and 729 among them have died, the WHO said Thursday.

\Two doctors treating infected patients have died of the disease.
Sierra Leone Ebola specialist Sheik Umar Khan died Tuesday in a clinic run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), in the country’s north.

]On Saturday, a senior doctor in Liberia died in a treatment centre on the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia.
Health officials are concerned about the disease spreading to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, after a Liberian man died after being hospitalized with Ebola in Lagos.
Ebola causes massive haemorrhages and has a fatality rate of 90 per cent. It is transmitted through blood and other body fluids.

Source: dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH Date: July 31, 2014 

 

Elegy: A Farewell Song For A Nation’s Hero

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

ebola-doctor-umar-khan

 

“By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light….” (wolfe)

 

A Franciscan student kept fighting on

Beyond the enclosed mission walls

He would heed the call, unafraid to fall

To brave a cause, and sacrifice all

 

What ultimate gift to all mankind

A martyr, a soldier, too hard to find

To give it all in times like this

A greater soul will be surely missed

 

Adieu my brother, you are now a star

A father’s son, a country’s pride

You answered the voice, a daunting task

You battled on to your very last

 

May Allah receive you with open arms

To continue your work beyond the clouds

We won’t forget, we will not fret

We will win this, though a void you left

 

Every Shawwal we will commemorate you

We will lay a wreath only reserved for few

A legacy enshrined and a braveheart cast

In Flanders Field a blazing comet’s passed

 

Mahera is proud to own this man

But a country’s heart he took in strides

Farewell soldier, take your final bow

For you will always remain our khan

 

-Ahmed Koroma

 

Sierra Leone asks African Union to act now on Ebola

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

 

Sierra Leonean born African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr. Mustapha Kaloko, and Sierra Leone’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the African Union Commission, Ambassador Ismael Koroma have told the African Union that the Ebola situation in West Africa is very critical and needs urgent actions from the Commission.

The_Deputy_Permanent_Representative,_Ambassador_Ismael_Koroma_(L)_and_Dr._Kaloko

DPR KOROMA -LEFT- AND DR. KALOKOH

In a briefing to the AU Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) where both officials made a very strong case on the crisis in the sub region Wednesday, Dr. Kaloko said the AU, whose essence of being was to protect the interest and wellbeing of its people, should be seen at the vanguard of efforts to manage the crisis as well as stem the spread of the virus in the continent.

 

He affirmed that the grinding effects of the Ebola virus and its painful impact on the socio-economic development on the region, which until recently, was referred to as the “crescent of conflict,” compelled WHO to summon an emergency meeting of Ministers of Health, partners and other stakeholders in July to deliberate on modalities to stall the Ebola advance. ‘’The meeting agreed that the role of the African Union and ECOWAS was essential in providing political and diplomatic support. This was why the last summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS made it a point of duty to place the Ebola Crisis as one of its major agenda items,’’ he emphasized.

 

Dr. Kaloko also informed the PRC that his Department of Social Affairs has briefed the Joint Bureau meeting of the PRC Sub Committee on Refugees and on Relief Fund on the Ebola Crisis in the three Mano River countries, adding that the meeting proposed that the entire PRC be briefed and that the sum of three hundred thousand dollars (USD 300,000) be appropriated from the Relief Fund to each affected country.

 

He urged the PRC to act on the Ebola crisis with the urgency it deserves, ‘‘It is an African problem that should be handled by all Africans, especially the African Union rather than wait until it is too late to intervene,’’ he warned.

 

In his statement, Ambassador Ismael Koroma described the Ebola crisis in the region as an emergency. He said due to the exigency of time, the PRC should have a special meeting within the shortest possible time in order to ameliorate the suffering of the affected patients and to contain the Ebola virus from spreading to other countries.

 

Ambassador Koroma expressed grave concern that the Ebola virus has the propensity to spread beyond the West African region, adding that the disease also poses serious security threats to the continent. He passionately appealed to his colleague Ambassadors to treat the issue of Ebola with utmost importance, as the disease was first discovered outside West Africa.

 

The PRC agreed to convene another meeting to discuss the matter as a substantive item.

 

Abdul Karim Koroma

Information Attaché

Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia

Email: akk23222@gmail.com

Ganging Up Against President Koroma

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
mohamedsankoh (495 x 600)
 
By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop) : 
 
There are certainly some enemies at the gates of State House and State Lodge. Or to put it in plain English: there are saboteurs within the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma who are now Fifth Columnists parading the corridors of power.
 
As recent as recently, there were alleged secret meetings by some higher-ups in government at an OAU villa at Hill Station. At that meeting, it is alleged that some of the attendees vowed that come 2016 if President Koroma refuses to name his successor they would openly challenge him and coerce him to do so. At that meeting also, it was reported that some of these higher-ups plan to use social media like Facebook and Twitter, and even local media, to create programmes and groups with the aim of presenting the President as a dictator who is not only responsible for people’s current miseries but a man who is refusing to give “other people chances”.
 
At first I took that information with a pinch of salt. But two things happened that made me to give those allegations serious thought. The first thing was a local newspaper report which states that some youths of the ruling All People’s Congress(APC) had storm their party’s Brookfields headquarters in Freetown to protest why President Koroma had not been giving them jobs but people who never suffered for and with the party. On investigations, it turned out that that story was a cooked-up one as youths never stormed the APC headquarters. It turned out that it was a former cabinet Minister, who believes he should still be in cabinet, who fabricated that story and fed it to a lazy newspaper which doesn’t even have the journalistic decency to cross check the story.
 
And the second issue that provoked my suspicion that some higher-ups in government are working against their President behind his back was the persistent calls last week by pro-SLPP journalists and SLPP apologists for President Koroma to visit the epicenters of the Ebola virus. While they were presenting the President as a heartless man who did not care about or for Ebola victims by refusing to visit and sympathize with them; pro-SLPP newspapers late last week presented Vice President Chief Sam Samuel Sumana as an anti-Ebola champion who was more Catholic than the Pope! Though I am not inferring anything here; but if one scratches the surface thoroughly then the inference will be very clear. But thankfully, President Koroma has now visited the Ebola epicenters and even spoke with Ebola patients. This has finally shown that the President really cares and is truly the Father of the Nation.
 
And from my sources at the corridors of power, some of President Koroma’s cabinet ministers are allegedly in league with some pro-SLPP journalists and SLPP operatives in the Diaspora. They are reported to have planned to finance some local newspapers to conduct series of fake public perception surveys and publish them with slants of an anti-Koroma bias; provide the funds for paid-up radio phone-in programmes in which the successes of the Koroma-led administration will be rubbished, and pre-finance the activities of some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to create disaffection amongst the populace with the aim of creating an oasis for a sort of “Arab Spring” in Sierra Leone. 
 
And as if such Brutus’s conspiracy is not enough, two days before this year’s “Pray Day” (the official end of Ramadan) I got inkling that some of the alleged conspirators were in Koinadugu District, northern Sierra Leone, where they allegedly polished their would-be pre-2016 palace coup with a broad tribal brush. In one of two meetings there, it was allegedly resolved that the 2018 presidential candidacy of the ruling APC should not be a Temne-Limba-Krio affair (whatever that means).
 
Whether all of the above is circumstantial or not, there is no smoke without a fire which is why President Koroma should always be aware that he has many two-faced people surrounding him. They have been playing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with him all this while: They smile in his presence and plan to stab him behind his back! 
 
But as the Krio adage goes: “For mas agidi for lepet norto him nar de tin, but nar for face am” (sorry, I couldn’t translate that into the English language); so-called influential people in government could plot and scheme behind the President’s back but they don’t have the guts to confront him with their follies. This is because apart from him being the revivalist of the APC; the head cornerstone (sorry my Muslim readers for that biblical allusion) of the New APC is President Ernest Bai Koroma. And if he is taken out of the equation, then the current APC would be standing on mosquito legs.
 
So whether the alleged Brutuses at the corridors of power like it or not, the fact is they will have to grudgingly grapple with the powerful presence of President Koroma today, tomorrow, and even beyond 2018. This is because, though he might not be the next APC presidential candidate, he will have to steer the APC to victory in 2018 just as he did on two occasions. 
 
It is on that note that I am ending today’s One Dropian dropping by entreating President Ernest Bai Koroma to adopt the “Take No Prisoner” policy from now on. If some of those he trusts want to play Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with him; he should not hesitate to play the protagonist in their Hollywood movie!
 
medsankoh@yahoo.com/+232-76-611986

 

Ebola : Leone Stars denied entry by Seychelles

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

LEONE STARS 2010

The Sierra  Leone Football Association (SLFA) would like to inform the general public that our national team, Leone Stars is currently held up in Nairobi, Kenya on their way to Seychelles for the second leg of the AFCON 2015 preliminaries.

In an email to the General Secretary dated 31st July, 2014, the Seychelles Football Association president, Elvis Chetty said the decision to stop the Sierra Leone delegation from entering Seychelles came from the government as a precautionary measure against the dreaded Ebola virus.

“Due to decisions taken by our Ministry of Health and Ministry of Immigration, we will not be able to host the scheduled match on August 2, 2014. We were looking forward to the encounter but please understand that this is beyond the control of the Seychelles FA,” Elvis Chetty said.

However, the Sierra Leone Assistant Coach, Tom Harris and two players who were already in Seychelles received a warm and affable welcome by the Seychelles FA officials who were at the airport to receive them on Wednesday.

Based on the above, Hicham El Amrani, the Secretary General of the Confederation of African Football has instructed the General Secretary of the SLFA to withdraw the Sierra Leone team from Kenya while the AFCON Organizing Committee decides the next steps to be taken.

“Following the confirmation of Seychelles FA that the game will not take place on August 2, you are hereby kindly required to return back to Sierra Leone. The Organizing Committee for AFCON will seized to confirm its decision to grant Sierra Leone access to the next round, regardless of any sanctions that might be imposed on the Seychelles FA,” Hicham El Amrani said.

Meanwhile, the SLFA General Secretary, Christopher Kamara has informed the Sierra Leone delegation in Kenya and the three currently in Seychelles on the current situation and requested that they board the next available flight back home. 

ABUBAKARR KAMARA

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS . GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS . JOIN US ON SATURDAY TO PRAY FOR OUR NATION: YOUR PRESENCE WILL BE HIGHLY APPRECIATED.

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

DIASPORA EBOLA PRAYER

REV. LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU

President Koroma declares State of Emergency in Sierra Leone

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Address to the Nation on the Ebola Outbreak By His Excellency The President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma July 30, 2014

presidentkoroma

Today, I ask the entire nation to mourn with the families of our national heroes including Dr. Sheik Humarru Khan who lost their lives battling the Ebola outbreak in our country. They were true patriots, paragons of service. We must win this fight in honor of their memory, and with prayers in our hearts, for all our compatriots who are victims of this deadly disease.

Since the outbreak, my government, in collaboration with development partners has continued to mobilize and deploy resources and expertise nationally and internationally to fight the disease. I have been in contact with world leaders and global partners to meet the challenges; we have set up coordinating mechanisms with the World Health Organization and other international bodies; we set up an inter-ministerial committee to mobilize MDA support activities; trained and deployed hundreds of health workers, contact tracers and burial teams; and facilitated awareness raising on the disease by paramount chiefs, religious leaders, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, musicians, okada riders, market women, the media and ordinary citizens.

The disease is beyond the scope of any one country, or community to defeat. Its social, economic, psychological and security implications require scaling up measures at international, national, inter-agency and community levels.

Extra-ordinary challenges require extra-ordinary measures. The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) poses an extra-ordinary challenge to our nation. Consequently, and in line with the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act Number 6 of 1991, I hereby proclaim a State of Public Emergency to enable us take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak.

In order to continue to take direct control of the situation, I have cancelled my trip to the US-Africa Summit in the United States of America. On Friday, I will be travelling to Conakry, Guinea to meet with my colleague Heads of State of the Mano River Union to discuss our sub-regional strategies to defeat the disease.

We are launching a National Response Plan to inaugurate Phase Two of our fight against the disease. I also hereby establish a Presidential Task Force on Ebola which I will chair to champion the implementation of the following:

  • All epicenters of the disease will be quarantined;
  • The police and the military will give support to health officers and NGOs to do their work unhindered and restrict movements to and from epicenters;
  • Localities and homes where the disease is identified will be quarantined until cleared by medical teams;
  • Public meetings and gatherings will be restricted with the exception of essential meetings related to Ebola sensitization and education;
  • Active surveillance and house-to-house searches shall be conducted to trace and quarantine Ebola victims and suspects;
  • Parliament is recalled to promote MPs leadership at constituency levels;
  • Paramount chiefs are required to establish bye-laws that would complement other efforts to deal with the Ebola outbreak;
  • Mayors, chairmen of councils and councilors are hereby required to support Ebola control measures in their local government areas;
  • All deaths must be reported authorities before burial;
  • New protocols for arriving and departing passengers have been instituted at the Lungi International Airport;
  • Cancellation of all foreign trips by ministers and other government officials except absolutely essential engagements.

These measures will initially be implemented for a period of 60 to 90 days, and subsequent measures will be announced as and when necessary.

In addition, Government is establishing a special account for donations from corporate interests, organizations, the Diaspora and the general public to support the fight against Ebola.

I also hereby declare Monday August 4, 2014 a National Stay at Home Day for Family Reflection, Education and Prayers on the Ebola outbreak.

Fellow citizens, this is a national fight, and it behoves all of us to stand together to promote the truth about this deadly disease. Ebola is real, and we must stop its transmission. There have been over 130 survivors of the disease. There is hope that early detection of the virus in persons can boost their chances of survival. This is why it is very necessary to get those with the virus to treatment centers not only to prevent others from contracting the virus, but also increasing their own chances of survival.

Fellow citizens, Sierra Leone is in a great fight. We are a resilient people. And we must not fail. The sustainability of our actions for prosperity depends on winning this fight. Failure is not an option. We all need to come together to win this battle.

Thank you for listening and God Bless Sierra Leone.

 

TORCHLIGHT NEWSPAPER MASTERPIECE : Taking Risks To Bring Hope To Ebola Victims…Ernest’s Great Love For his people

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Taking Risks To Bring Hope To Ebola Victims…
Ernest’s Great Love For
His People

Weeps Over Dr Khan’s Death

“There is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for his friends,” says the Bible; that is why Jesus Christ laid down His life for mankind. And He enjoined others to follow His footsteps. Dr Shek Umarr Khan, the frontline doctor who has been battling with the nefarious Ebola disease since it crossed the borders from Guinea to Sierra Leone, succumbed to the disease itself yesterday Tuesday 29th July just as President Ernest Bai Koroma was visiting Kailahun, its original epicenter in the country.

PREZZO RISKS LIFE IN KAILAHUN

 

The President took the onerous decision to visit the Ebola-ravaged districts of Kenema and Kailahun on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th July respectively as a demonstration of his love for his people, especially during trying times, and as a glaring manifestation that he was also prepared to lay down his life for his flock.

“Remember that President Koroma was going against the advice of some of his closest advisers who were arguing that it was too much of a risk for the President both in terms of the means of transportation (helicopter in bad weather) and the proximity to the disease’s epicenter. But the President’s love for his people impelled him to make the trip,” a senior Cabinet Minister told The Torchlight.

Sierra Leoneans all over the world were heart-broken and poured tributes for Dr Khan when news of his demise spread like wild fire. The Torchlight joins all in sending condolences to the bereaved family. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

CREDIT : TORCHLIGHT NEWSPAPER

Government Press Release on the death of Ebola hero Dr. Sheik Umarr Khan

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
 DR. MARTIN SALIA 2
PRESS RELEASE
IT IS WITH DEEP SADNESS THAT HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT DR. ERNEST BAI KOROMA, THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCE THE DEATH OF DR. SHEIK UMAR KHAN, WHO WAS AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE FIGHT AGAINST THE EBOLA DISEASE IN SIERRA LEONE.DR. KHAN SAVED THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 100 PATIENTS BEFORE SUCCUMBING TO THE DEADLY DISEASE HIMSELF. IT IS SAID THAT THERE IS NO GREATER SACRIFICE THAN GIVING ONE’S LIFE FOR THEIR COUNTRY.HIS EXCELLENCY HAS THEREFORE DECLARED DR. KHAN A NATIONAL HERO AND THE NEW VIRAL HEMORRHAGIC FEVER CENTRE IN KENEMA WILL BE NAMED AFTER HIM.

DR. KHAN WILL BE BURIED ON THURSDAY 31ST JULY 2014 IN KENEMA AT THE PLACE WHERE HE WORKED DURING ALL HIS PROFESSIONAL LIFE.

THE EXERCISE ITSELF WILL BE CARRIED OUT BY THE EXPERIENCED OFFICIAL BURIAL TEAM OF THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND SANITATION IN STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THE RULES NORMALLY APPLIED FOR EBOLA-AFFECTED DECEASED.

HOWEVER, GOVERNMENT WILL GIVE FULL SUPPORT TO THE LATE DOCTOR’S FAMILY TO OBSERVE THE FUNERAL RITES ACCORDING TO CUSTOM AND TRADITION AT MAHERA, KAFFU BULLOM CHIEFDOM.

IN ADDITION, A CIVIC MEMORIAL SERVICE IN HONOUR OF DR. KHAN AND ALL OTHER FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS WHO DIED IN THE FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA WILL BE HELD IN KENEMA AT A DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER.

HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT, THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF SIERRA LEONE EXTEND HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF THE LATE DR. SHEIK UMAR KHAN FOR THE IRREPARABLE LOSS OF THIS GREAT SON OF THE SOIL.

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAYHI RAJI’UN – TO ALLAH WE BELONG AND TO HIM WE SHALL RETURN.

MAY THE SOUL OF THIS NATIONAL HERO REST IN PERFECT PEACE.

E N D
STATE HOUSE 30TH JULY, 2014