February 23, 2015 By Saa Matthias D. Bendu
Addressing hundreds of stakeholders at Kaiyima in Sandor Chiefdom, and Kangama in Gorama Kono Chiefdom while on his social mobilization tour of Kono district, Vice President Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana thanked the Chiefdom Ebola Task Force, nurses, contact tracers and Paramount Chief Sheku A.T. Fasuluku Sonsiama III, and chiefdom authorities for their tremendous role in the fight against Ebola.
The vice president informed the large crowd that the Ebola virus may be gradually declining in size, strength and power across the country, yet the battle against the invisible enemy was still raging as “the virus still exists with us and we are in the most dangerous period of the fight”.
He thanked His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma “for his fabulous work in leading the fight against Ebola”, thus admonishing the people of Sandor, Nimikoro and Gorama Kono chiefdoms to be more vigilant “during this causal period in the fight against the Ebola virus”.
He said to be complacent would be dangerous as gains made could be reversed. Thus, he urged total adherence to health warnings by experts and complete obedience to local by-laws by all to expedite defeat of the virus.
“We should not touch or hide sick people amongst us; they should be taken to community care centres to be tested whether they are Ebola positive or suffering from other ailments and be given the appropriate treatment. We should not touch dead bodies or bury them, but call the burial team,” Vice President Sam-Sumana further encouraged his people, adding that they should practice basic hygiene and sanitation principles by cleaning the environment, their local bathrooms and toilets, and to constantly wash their hands.
Chief Sam-Sumanna said: “Our culture and tradition are integral part of us, but at this moment all cultural and traditional practices are suspended until we are declared Ebola free; then and only then can we go back to our traditional and cultural practices. To achieve this, we must not put down our guards; we must be committed to race to zero Ebola cases in our respective chiefdoms.”
Earlier in his welcome address, P.C. Sheku A.T. Fasuluku Sonsiama III informed the vice president that only four cases have been reported in his chiefdom since the start of the outbreak. He pleaded with the VP to resolve the boundary quarrel between Sandor and Neini and Neya chiefdoms respectively.
He expressed his appreciation to WHO, UNICEF, health workers and partners who have striven to end the outbreak in Sandor Chiefdom.
In Kangama, Gorama Kono, P.C. Sahr S. Konobundor welcomed the vice president and his entourage, and revealed that despite their proximity to Kenema and Kailahun – hitherto epicenters of the disease – only two people lost their lives to Ebola.
In Kaiyima, Sandor, VP Sumana visited the community care center.
Among the VP’s entourage were the APC Deputy National Organizing Secretary, Tamba R. Sandy; Aiah M’briwa; Dr. Mohamed Foh; Minister of State, Vice President Office, Ms. Harriet Sia Turay; Mayor, His Lordship Saa Emerson Lamina of Koidu Sembehum City Council; APC District Secretary General, Tamba Fillie; and many other prominent indigenes of Kono and from different parts of the country.