Showing posts from July, 2014

President Koroma declares State of Emergency | "Extra-ordinary challenges require extra-ordinary measures"

With Sierra Leone facing one of the deadliest Ebola outbreaks in recent history, President Ernest Koroma proclaimed a State of Emergency Wednesday, July 30, 2014 and directed state officials to take all necessary action to support the medical services. "The disease is beyond the scope of any one country, or community to defeat. Its social, economic, psychological and security implications require scaling up measures at international, national, inter-agency and community levels," said President Koroma. "Extra-ordinary challenges require extra-ordinary measures. The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) poses an extra-ordinary challenge to our nation. Consequently, and in line with the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act Number 6 of 1991, I hereby proclaim a State of Public Emergency to enable us take a more robust approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak." In the State of Emergency declaration, President Koroma recalled Parliament to promote leadership at constituency level,

Selfless Devotion Defined Sierra Leone's Dr. Sheik Umar Khan

The remains of Dr. Sheik Umar Khan (Photo courtesy of Hannah Foullah) Tuesday, July 29, 2014-Sierra Leoneans online have been giving reactions to the official announcement of the death of Dr. Sheik Umar Khan,  the virologist credited with treating more than 100 Ebola victims. Many commentators consoled Sierra Leoneans and the late doctor's family, and hailed the medic for his selfless devotion. Reacting to the news on her Facebook wall, Sarah G. Suma wrote: "Facebook asks, 'What’s on your mind?' Well, my heart is heavy. I never met Dr. Khan, and only heard about him during the Ebola outbreak. However, I closely followed news reports about his tireless efforts to treat Ebola patients while risking his life. We all prayed for a happy ending to this heroic story. What a beautiful story it would have been." On another wall, Hannah Foullah posted a photo taken of pallbearers in full protective clothing carrying the 43-year-old doctor. Foullah wrote: &

Embattled Sierra Leone launches 90-Day Campaign to End Ebola as War of Words Rages on Communication

The Development Partnership Committee or DEPAC provides a forum for dialogue between the government of Sierra Leone and its development partners. DEPAC started meeting in 2003 with a focus on ensuring that the national recovery strategy was on track. Today, President Koroma summoned DEPAC in a situation room to ensure the nation’s fight against Ebola is being waged on all fronts. Embattled Sierra Leone plans to end the spread of Ebola over the next 60 to 90 days.  A new Presidential Taskforce headed by Koroma will serve as an oversight of all Ebola implemented activities. The taskforce will comprise cabinet ministers and stakeholders directly dealing with activities geared towards stopping the spread of the disease, the statement said. Also presented at the emergency DEPAC meeting was the revised Ebola Response plan, developed as a result of the July 2nd and 3rd Accra Communique, which required all countries to develop Ebola response plans that will fit into the sub-regional

A Caring Doctor

UPDATE** Friends and well-wishers of Sierra Leone's Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan were pleased to learn Thursday that he is responding well to treatment at at the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treatment center in Kailahun. According to a Ministry of Health on Facebook post, Dr. Khan is still stable. In addition, Dr. Vandy Kanyako, who has acted as consultant for several local and international organizations including the National Democratic Institute in Washington D.C., posted this message on his Facebook wall: "A CDC [United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] assessment team in a presentation to the American community at the American embassy in Sierra Leone this past Thursday reported seeing DR. Khan walking around the Ebola treatment facility in Kailahun, eastern Sierra Leone "asking for sprite and springles". He also reportedly made a phone call for the first time since his quarantine. Other reliable sources have also report

Alice's Story | Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher

Alice Allen Macauley educates and cares for children, usually ages 3 to 5. She teaches reading, writing, math and other subjects in a way that young children can understand. Over her long career, she has worked in public and private schools, childcare centers, and charitable organizations in her native Sierra Leone, The Gambia in West Africa and in the United States of America. In Freetown, Sierra Leone, Alice started teaching at the Roosevelt Primary School, then Ronsab, and, Murraydeen, preparatory schools. When she moved to The Gambia, she taught at the SOS School in Banjul, St Joseph's, and Amazing Grace primary schools.  Now based in Baltimore, Maryland, Alice has taught pre-school at the Milford Mill Child Development Center and Excellent Start Learning Center.  “I can say I have got the opportunity to contribute to the lives of hundreds of children across the world and for that am so grateful to God," Alice e-mailed from somewhere in the U.K., where she is currently

Ebola: President Koroma lays out Sierra Leone's Step-by-Step Response as Crisis Goes Viral

Many citizens have risen up to the challenge of fighting Ebola ... From health workers to Paramount Chiefs, teachers, police officers, religious leaders, and ordinary citizens. --President Koroma, July 1, 2014 Almost halfway through the rainy season in Sierra Leone we remember when the nation was in the midst of its worst cholera outbreak in 15 years. On September 19, 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 19, 000 cases and 274 deaths. The WHO and Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation established a cholera control and command center to coordinate the response to what had turned into a national emergency. By the end of the crisis, there were 23,000 cases and 300 deaths.   August is the worst month for rain and the time when cholera can peak. Speaking to Nina DeVries last August, the political head of the nation's beleaguered health ministry, Miatta Kargbo, said things have improved in terms of prevention and treatment of cholera. A wate