MSF urges swift implementation of int’l pledges


SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 By Josephine A. Seppeh (Intern)

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Liaison Officer for medical aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) yesterday called for an immediate implementation of international pledges towards the fight against the deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging the three Mano River Union countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Speaking at a meeting organized by the Sierra Leone Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Sharon Ekanbaran welcomed the ambition of the new U.S. Ebola response plan, which she noted matches the scope of the disaster unfolding in West Africa.

“This latest pledge, alongside those from a handful of other countries, needs to be put into action immediately. The swift implementation of deployment of new Ebola management centres, qualified staff and health personnel training could begin reversing the trend of the disease,” she said.

According to her, MSF has 2,000 staff in the country and manages more than 530 beds in five different Ebola care centres in the three affected countries.

She noted that the agency is overwhelmed as a single private NGO providing the bulk of isolation units with beds in the three affective countries, as the Ebola outbreak is the biggest global threat facing the people of West Africa.

“This is not only a problem to Sierra Leone but a global problem and it requires a global response, which has not yet been met,” she noted.

Also, Deputy Government Spokesman, Ajibu Jalloh, noted that Ebola is a bigger issue for the country to tackle alone, hence the need for more international support to contain its spread. He pointed out that Ebola is a serious issue which people should take seriously, adding, “The time for talking is over. Prudent actions are needed.”

Jalloh noted that government has now assumed the responsibility to bury all corpses across the country even though some might not have died of Ebola.

Director of Training and Recruitment in the Office of National Security (ONS), Raymond Sharkah, said the fight against Ebola is two-pronged – health and security. He said the ONS is primarily concerned with the security aspect by providing safe and conducive atmosphere for medical experts to operate in.

He said they have monitored hospitals and health centres across the country and have presented a detailed report to the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for action.