Health Minister shows appreciation for health workers
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Miatta Kargbo has extended thanks and appreciation to health workers across the country for their tireless effort since the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone.
The Health Minister made this plea at the usual weekly Government Press briefing in the Conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Youyi building, Freetown.
According to her, when an issue about health workers arises she always speaks from the bottom of her heart, adding that medical practitioners are always in the forefront when it comes to not only epidemics, but also in the forefront of maternal and infant mortality. “It will be disheartening if the hard work of my health workers is not appreciated,” said the minister adding that they are risking their lives with sleepless nights to save the lives of others.
She described an article published in one of the local tabloids about her Ministry as very misleading because according to her the information there in was out of context. She further lamented that publishing distorting information deliberately is wrong and can create panic among peaceful citizens. She admonished health workers that their job is to save lives, therefore they should continue demonstrating their commitment and pay less attention to their detractors and their reward is blessing from the Supreme Being.
Giving an update on the current status on Ebola for June 19th this year , Madam Kargbo said 247 cases have been tested, 103 confirmed, 26 deaths, and 12 survivors.
The Minister informed the public that she was happy to announce that this week they were able to access Kissy Tengi chiefdom in Kailahun district and talked with the people in that chiefdom. According to her, the good news is that, the people in that chiefdom are now allowing them willingly to take their blood samples, meaning they have accepted the fact that the disease is real and it is existing amongst them; she therefore urged them to see the need and take the right precaution; even though the Thomas’s still argue the existence of Ebola in the country.” She expressed thanks to the people of Kissy Teng and Koindu for allowing health workers to execute their duties.
However the Minister maintained that, a treatment centre has been set up in Kailahun and all 13 designated checkpoints are functioning effectively. She declared that the checkpoint was able to identify an Ebola positive victim through blood samples from the passenger.
The Minister stated that the World Health Organization (WHO) Consultant field workers are here in the country and have trained our ambulance drivers and supplement that they have sent new ambulances to Kailahun, Kenema, and Kissy Teng, with tricycle ambulances that can carry only one patient at a time.
The Minister emphasized how the communities are abandoning carcasses of dead bodies and only the health workers go there to take care of the corpses. According to the Minister, Ebola outbreak is the current issue that has drawn the attention of all health workers from different sectors of the Ministry. She implored all Journalists to report accurately.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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Dr. Mariatu Turay-Rohde (MD, MSc. Public Health, Policy Advisor & Project Consultant)
Ebola is a public health threat in Sierra-Leone
The Ebola outbreak in Sierra-Leone and the Mano River Region as a whole represents the deadliest in history and this has once more showed the vulnerability of a weak health system in the affected regions.
The few doctors and allied healthcare workers, who are in first line contact with the infected, have been the most vulnerable!
Protective equipment for healthcare workers on the front line treating those with the Ebola virus infection is in some areas not available or insufficient!
Not only hundreds of people have died or become infected, doctors including Dr. Sheik Umar Khan (unfortunately) and health care workers are also dying everyday!
Serious deficiencies in the working conditions of national and international doctors and allied healthcare workers dealing with the Ebola virus in Sierra-Leone and the region as a whole have been highlighted by the World Medical Association, World Health Organization, UNICEF und MSF.
So therefore, for us “medical Diasporans” who are ready to help bridge the huge human resources gap and thereby effectively contribute towards the collaborative efforts of our international colleagues, protection of all healthcare workers and those willing to travel to give their support is extremely crucial and of great importance.
A concerned citizen
Dr. Mariatu Turay-Rohde (MD, MSc. Public Health, Policy Advisor & Project Consultant)9th August 2014