First Lady lauds young people in Ebola fight


May 28, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma
Sierra Leone’s First Lady, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma

First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma yesterday noted that leadership is all about inspiring and effecting change in the lives of others.

Madam Koroma was speaking at the Radisson Blu Hotel while launching a two-day Youth Leadership Forum organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the National Youth Commission on Ebola response and recovery.

She said young people have contributed immensely to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, which she said has killed over 3,000 people in the country.

She noted that young people have been at the frontline in the fight to save their beloved nation from the horrible epidemic since May last year, when the outbreak broke out in Kailahun, eastern Sierra Leone.

She said youths in the country are confronted with unemployment and teenage pregnancy, among a host of other challenges.

According to the First Lady, the Ebola virus has affected every aspect of life in the country and that a lot of young people, including doctors and nurses, have died in the line of duty.

“It is good that young people of this our great nation are recognized for their effort in the fight against the virus. But let me use this opportunity to tell you that the war is not yet over, therefore, I call on you young people to continue the fight and also continue to adhere to the rules of the medical professionals till we finally get to zero,” she urged.

Commissioner of the National Youth Commission, Anthony A. Koroma, said the challenges the virus posed to national development are well documented and articulated in the country’s national post-Ebola recovery plan.

He said the focus of the forum was to share experience and to look ahead as to how to position youth development within the context of the post-Ebola recovery programme because young people were at the direct receiving end of the disease as well as foot soldiers in the ongoing fight to defeat the deadly virus.

Also, Sierra Leone music and movie star, Jimmy Bangura aka Jimmy B, said it was good to motivate and inspire the youth to rise above all challenges that the nation might face, noting that when the virus was reported to have entered the country, the issue of denial was in the minds of people, which posed huge challenges in the fight.

He said the virus, however, has affected every household in the country as businesses were shut down, schools closed and the country now has no fewer than 3,000 orphans, while teenage pregnancy was in the increase in the country.

He said the entertainment industry had also been adversely affected.