February 16, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Special Adviser to the President on Saturday (February 14) reckoned that the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) Yellow Ribbon Campaign to reinvigorate the commitment of individuals, groups and institutions to fight and bring the Ebola to zero new infection is timely, welcomed and supported by President Ernest Bai Koroma and his government.
Officially launching the campaign at the historic Cotton Tree in central Freetown, Professor Monty Jones thanked the membership of SLAJ for the initiative and called on all Sierra Leoneans, including partners, to continue to strengthen their support to the Ebola fight by giving all the necessary support to the campaign.
He also urged all and sundry to refrain from hiding or touching the sick or dead bodies, conduct safe and dignified medical burials and ensure contacts are safe in quarantined homes, holding and community care centers.
According to him, progress in the fight over the last 10 months has been tremendous and that the President has championed it through his effective social mobilization messages to the nation.
Explaining about the campaign, SLAJ president, Kelvin Lewis, stated that the intention is to inject new synergy into the fight against Ebola and to drive it to the end without being complacent.
He said the recent upsurge in the Aberdeen community is a testimony to the fact that the fight is not yet over and that Sierra Leoneans should not be complacent.
“For us the yellow ribbon is a sign of commitment. Anyone who wears it is saying ‘I am committed to do the things that will help break the chain of transmission and end Ebola’. It also symbolizes a new dawn and the start of the rebranding of our country. The Ebola fight is not over until [we get to] the last case,” he said.
Mr. Lewis implored Sierra Leoneans not to become complacent and relax, saying because the numbers are going down does not mean the fight against the disease is over.
Also, the Mayor of Freetown, Franklyn Bode Gibson and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Ebola Response Center (NERC), Rtd. Major Alfred Palo Conteh, commended SLAJ for the initiative and recognized the role they have been playing in providing the public with credible information and messages about the disease since the start of the outbreak in May 2014.