- Deputy Social Welfare Minister
SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 By Hassan G. Koroma
Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs yesterday stated that disabled persons across the country are more venerable to the deadly Ebola viral disease, which has claimed at least 388 lives in the country.
Mustapha Bai Attila told his audience during an Ebola sensitization organized at the Presidential Lounge of the National Stadium by HEAL Sierra Leone, in collaboration with KPMG, that disabled persons depend largely on the help of others to enable them survive.
“Because disabled persons depend more on the help of the able, it is extremely difficult for them to avoid direct contact with people who may have contracted the Ebola virus,” he said and added that the fight against the deadly disease should not be left in the hands of the government alone, but rather the collective responsibility of every Sierra Leonean.
Attila commended the effort of KPMG for targeting the disabled community in their Ebola sensitization drive and called on other organizations and institutions to do same.
Also speaking, Executive Director of HEAL Sierra Leone, Joseph Sannoh, recalled that some years back when Lassa fever broke out, lots of people, including the disabled, succumbed to the hemorrhagic fever.
He stated that the outbreak of the Ebola viral disease since May has killed more than 300 Sierra Leoneans, especially the youth and the disabled.
According to Sannoh, the disabled are more vulnerable whenever there is a deadly outbreak in the country and that they decided to work with the disabled community because of their vulnerability.
On his part, KPMG representative, Vidal Decker, pointed out that his institution was approached by HEAL Sierra Leone to help with necessary funds to carry out an Ebola sensitization campaign targeting the disabled community.
Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President, Harriet Turay, who delivered the keynote address, said the organizers must be commended for targeting the disabled in their Ebola sensitization drive.
She called on the disabled community to listen and abide to what the health experts are telling them to do in order not to contract the disease.