Moyamba residents accuse health officers of negligence in tracing Ebola patients


SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 By Francis Ndanema in Moyamba

Residents of Moyamba town have accused the District Health Management Team of not appropriately attending to suspected Ebola cases in the district, adding that a lot of people are unnecessarily dying as a result of negligence on the side of health officers.

According to sources in the southern region township, residents are particularly bitter that health officers have been rather slow to respond to emergency calls, especially in Ebola hotspot communities.

Two people had reportedly died from a certain household in Bumpeh Chiefdom with occupants left to intermingle with others in the community for four days before they were quarantined and only two blood samples taken for test.

“Those two blood samples were only taken when the suspects became seriously sick. If the health officers had responded in time I am sure we wouldn’t have lost them,” said Aminata Kamara, a family member of the Ebola victims.

However, Dr. Dennis Marke denied the allegations against the District Health Management Team, which he heads. The medico said they have recruited volunteers to embark on contact tracing in the district, adding that they visit quarantined homes regularly in a bid to respond to the needs of those under surveillance.

“Some people do not want to appreciate our effort despite visiting these people on a daily basis and reporting directly to our supervisors. We can only collect blood samples of quarantined people if they report their sicknesses,” Dr. Marke said.

Also, according to Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Moyamba District Health Management Team, Victor Caulker, relatives of the two Ebola victims had hidden them away from health workers.

“It is unfortunate that the families of the two individuals were taking them to the farm at 5:00am and returning in the evening. In fact they were treating them with native drugs,” he alleged.