The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has revealed the nakedness of the APC Government. Despite the fact that the Koroma-led APC Government loudly hailed the medical system in Sierra Leone as the best in the world, it has woefully failed to detect, contain, prevent and treat the EVD in the country. The EVD originated and has existed for over seventeen years in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo without ever spreading over to the neighboring countries of Kenya, Tanzania, etc. In West Africa, EVD purportedly started in Guinea and quickly spread over to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. How this happened is still not fully understood.
Due to the corrupt and care-free nature of the Government, the EVD could have actually started long before it was officially detected and reported in especially Sierra Leone. Even after it was diagnosed and reported, it was initially treated as an Opposition-stronghold issue that was not worth of any Government attention. Thus, the APC Government never made any serious efforts at the initial phase of the EVD to contain and treat what has now blown out into a deadly Epidemic. The APC Government missed the golden opportunity to put the killer EVD under control. The gross lack of basic dressing kits, drugs, ambulances, incentives and treatment centers has led to the untold deaths of even highly professional medical officers.
The APC Government has failed to put the containment and treatment efforts of the EVD within the context of the social culture of the people. It is morally, socially and culturally unethical to swiftly snatch a loved one from the family in the name of sickness, stop all contacts with the sick one and only call some time later time to tell the family that the person is dead and buried. This is morally unacceptable. There should be incorporated into the containment and treatment programs of the EVD Epidemic medically guided visits by some select members of the family and witnessing of the death and burial of EVD victims. Transparency in dealing with the EVD patients could build the so desired trust among the stakeholders involved that would in turn eventually build confidence in the treatment processes at EVD Centers.
Ambassador Foh and his entourage have hosted fund-raising activities in Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and North Korea, among other countries. These activities have attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars, meant to fight the EVD Epidemic back in Sierra Leone. The Australian Embassy in Beijing alone donated one million dollars. While financial donations from the private and public sectors and the international community have been incoming, the EVD patients are starving to death and medical officers fighting the disease with basic protection gears.
President Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma is busy distributing Holy Water blessed by Pastor Joshua in Nigeria as treatment for the EVD patients. Can the APC Government be transparent and accountable!
By Sulay B. Conteh