SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The 10 registered political parties in the country, in partnership with the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), have urged the government to establish mobile mortuaries in Ebola hotspots across the country to prevent prolong stay of corpses in homes while awaiting laboratory result.
Acting Secretary-General of the All Political Parties Association (APPA), William Tucker, who presented recommendations of a monitoring report of the three-day lockdown by political parties, in collaboration with the PPRC last Friday, said dead bodies were left in homes for several days while they await test results from the laboratory.
Also, Tucker said it is there recommendation that taking of photographs of the sick and the dead should be prohibited to avoid stigmatization, and that political parties should be included in all areas and given quotas as volunteers.
“We are recommending that rapid response/burial teams should be accompanied by the police and houses temporarily quarantined as they await result of tests. There should be increase in security and medical personnel on the border areas between towns, districts and villages of the affected areas,” he said.
He stated that political parties are also urging for medical structures to be put in place to attend to other illnesses in every community, as well as an increase in the number of community surveillance officers.
Commenting on their monitoring exercise of the three-day ‘Ose-to-Ose Ebola Tok’ from 19 to 21 September, the APPA scribe pointed out that the overall objective was to complement the effort of government and its partners in the fight against the Ebola virus, adding: “It is not about politics now. We are trying to ensure the eradication of this deadly virus.”
He spoke about their intension to visit quarantined homes across the country because, according to him, the government has quarantined districts, chiefdoms and villages without any proper preparations.
Mr. Tucker, on behalf of his colleagues, noted with satisfaction the role played by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Independent Radio Network (IRN) in sensitising and educating the public about the Ebola viral disease, especially during the three-day ‘Ose-to-Ose Ebola Tok’.
“We are also urging the government to do more in ensuring the eradication of the disease soonest,” he said.
Earlier, PPRC Chairman, Justice M.E Tolla Thompson, stated that the document will stand the test of time and that the report shows the involvement and enthusiasm of political parties to help eradicate the disease.
The retired judge said political parties have a primary stake in the fight against the deadly virus and therefore should not be left behind, adding, “When the Ebola sensitization was mooted at the initial stage, the political parties were at the forefront of it.”
“Like I always say, political parties are the traders and the people are the commodities… I don’t think they should be left behind or they should leave themselves behind in the fight. There will be no politics when Ebola is with us,” he said, and advised party representatives not to relent in their sensitization campaign even though some of their supporters find it difficult to understand.
Also speaking, SLAJ Secretary-General, Moses A. Kargbo, commended the PPRC and political parties for recognizing the association’s role in the fight against Ebola.
He assured that SLAJ will continue to sensitise the public until Ebola is defeated.