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Cholera claims two in Allen Town

Cholera claims two in Allen Town

Two people are reported dead due to an outbreak of cholera in Allen Town in the outskirts of Freetown. (Photo: Dilapidated Allen Town health facility)

This outbreak of cholera has been attributed to poor working conditions as well as the dilapidated state of the health centre resulting to nine staff members abandoning the centre with lactating mothers, pregnant women and under-five children seeking medical care elsewhere.  The center serves seven communities with an estimated population of over 3,000.

Allen Town Community Health Officer (CHO), Salifu Kamara stated that the health center has become a death trap, a situation that led to the death of the 36 year old radio machine of CARITAS in Mayemi, Allen Town, Ibrahim Sesay on Sunday 22nd July, 2012.

According to Salifu Kamara, he could not work at the centre at night due to its deplorable condition with cracked walls, non-availability of water, electricity and toilet facilities adding that the building leaks to the extent that it causes flooding hence has destroyed several documents and even drugs.

He further stated that several stakeholders, including the former Mayor of Freetown, Herbert George Williams, have visited the centre but that nothing has been done to remedy the situation.

He also clarified that he could not respond to the call of Ibrahim Sesay due to the dismal state of the center adding that he administered cholera treatment to the deceased and referred him to the Rokupa Government Hospital as the center is not equipped to treat such cases.

Dead Cholera victim, Ibrahim Sesay in the veranda of the Allen Town Health Centre

However, other sources in the township alleged that Ibrahim Sesay was abandoned because he failed to pay the Le 50,000 demanded by the officer in-charge of the health center.

The awful state of the centre has resulted to the deaths of several people including pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under-five years with the latest victim being the second to have died of cholera.

Residents in the community have accused the CHO, Salifu Kamara and the Councilor of Ward 347 in Constituency 96, Moses Saidu Kamara of conspiring to sell the free healthcare drugs meant for the people, an allegation the two have denied.

Residents of Allen Town are calling on the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other stakeholders to come to their aid to save lives as most of the people cannot afford to seek medical care elsewhere.

By A R Bedor

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