Archive for July, 2014
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
“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
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.
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
Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone
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.
Address to the Nation on the Ebola Outbreak By His Excellency The President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma July 30, 2014
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:
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 peopleWednesday, July 30th, 2014
Taking Risks To Bring Hope To Ebola Victims…
Ernest’s Great Love For
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.
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
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