…First Lady warns against stigmatisation & discrimination
NOVEMBER 12, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma has warned against stigmatisation and discrimination as sixty-three patients were discharged at the Hastings Treatment Center, bringing the number of Ebola survivors at the centre to 228 since it commenced operations on 19 September.
“To tell people you have Ebola and I will not touch you is something as a government we will not tolerate. We are asking traditional and community leaders to sensitize their various communities to accept those that have survived the disease with open hands. It is a sickness and can attack anybody. So if God has saved your lives, they should embrace you,” she warned.
Mrs. Koroma congratulated the survivors, describing them as brave men and women, and urged them to serve as goodwill ambassadors in their various communities.
She revealed she was visiting the center for the second time, the first being few weeks ago to donate food and non-food items to the patients. She also encouraged doctors and nurses at the centre to continue the good work.
She maintained that when the Ebola virus disease started few months back in Guinea and crossed over into Sierra Leone, ugly statistics of death rate of the disease put fear into people to report early in hospitals.
But the Hasting Treatment Center has helped to change that perception, she said, as in every ten Ebola cases taken to the Center, six people have survived.
“Please look at Ebola as a sickness that can affect anyone and not of your own making. We are calling you our goodwill ambassadors of the fight. Please avoid bodily contact and stop washing dead bodies. Your immunity is very high and the government has plans for you,” she added.
Also, Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation II, Madina Rahman, congratulated the survivors and disclosed plans for another 300 beds treatment center soonest.
“To you our survivors, you are better than those that are yet to know their Ebola status. We are expecting you to serve as our ambassadors to tell people to report early for treatment,” she urged.
Meanwhile, Center Coordinator, Dr. Santigie Sesay, disclosed that since 19 September to date, they have admitted 404 patients, with 228 surviving the virus while 115 have succumbed to the disease.