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Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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Koroma unhappy with int’l community ‘slow response’ to fight Ebola

President Ernest Bai Koroma has registered his displeasure at what he described as the international community’s “slow pace response” to his call to support the fight to contain the deadly Ebola virus in the country since the outbreak in May this year.

An unhappy President Koroma yesterday made a follow-up visit to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office at Brookfields in Freetown to abreast himself with development at the epicentres, and did not conceal his emotions by registering his disappointment at the lukewarm response by the international community to the outbreak.

It could be recalled that President Koroma, on Saturday 9th August, visited the WHO office to keep himself abreast with control methods to stop the transmission of the disease.

On arrival over the weekend, President Koroma was received by Country Representative Dr. Jacob Mafunda and staff, who confirmed to him that they are indeed receiving calls from all over the country, and are giving feedbacks on calls.

Discussing the way forward with Dr. Mafunda about measures of containing the disease, the President told the WHO country chief that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is seriously challenged with respect to addressing the emergency health situation in the country.

He therefore encouraged WHO to recruit independent workers from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and give them the requisite training and expertise to enable them measure up to the task.

Mr. Koroma maintained that if the country does not have the qualified people with the required expertise, especially those in the front line, it will have the potential of undermining the efforts already made by government.

He urged all to be very responsible and give accurate information on the spread of the disease, and added that the issues of lack of vehicles, the training of contact tracers, system monitors, burial teams and the processes involved in the burial of Ebola affected persons will continue to be given adequate attention.

Dr. Mafunda informed President Koroma that they have already commenced training, deployment of contact tracers, burial teams and the processes involved therein. He however expressed dismay over the slow pace of the ongoing construction of the Lakka treatment centre.

Dr. Mafunda said that they will be deploying monitors, contact tracers by districts and chiefdoms and there will be 50 contact tracers per each district to further sustain the control measures already put in place, whilst calling on the involvement of all ministries.

However, on his follow-up visit yesterday, the President was bold to inform the WHO team that his government was not so far satisfied with the international community’s response to the outbreak more than two months after it was confirmed.

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