Mirroring President Koroma’s Speech on Operation Western Area Surge
Operation Western Area Surge is here as another strategy to assess the current status of the 25th May 2014 Ebola outbreak in the country and to control the current rate of the infection. (Photo: Jonathan Abass Kamara, author)
Exploring this ocean depth that needs an urgent exploration, I am looking at two key messages in the Presidential Speech: The first message among other key messages was to draw the attention of all Sierra Leoneans, reminding them that Ebola is another war. In his words, “Sierra Leone is at war with a vicious enemy”, and my second take from his speech is, “Together, we will defeat Ebola”.
The fundamental truth for the prevention, the control, and containment of the Ebola Virus Disease, is vested on these two statements just mentioned above. If as a nation we believe that we are at war with an invisible enemy, a war worse than the Rebel war, and team up together as a nation to fight Ebola, we would victoriously defeat Ebola. But for the most stubborn unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans with the denial syndrome, the President in his wisdom wishes it to be known that the Public State Emergency is still in place and measures highlighted are no child’s play. The message is in our lingua-franca Krio and our local dialects across the country. With the ongoing sensitization and community engagement, it is with optimism that with compliance, we would beat Ebola before end of January 2015.
Exploring Key Measures
The debate on the measures for the Festive Season are pertinent for infection prevention control of the disease, but the perception in certain quarters by unreasonable and lawless individuals must be checked with extraordinary measures. Traders must adhere to the time schedule for trading, and the ‘ No trading on Sundays’ which in the Colonial Era and recent Post-colonial era was a cultural traditional in Sierra Leone, especially in urban/rural western area should not be seen as a cut off but a reflection of glorious past.
To our Christian brothers and sisters and our Clergies, observing the New Year’s Eve in the afternoon or morning to end up Church Services at 5 p.m. on the 31st December 2014 sounds new and raw but the philosophy of extraordinary measure for the prohibition of public gathering is not far from the truth of the history of New Services at Night in the past, which, after church services, traditionally some of us would find ourselves shaking hands, embracing each other, shouting “Happy New Year Me Nor Die Oh”, and drove to bars and night clubs to bend the elbows with pints of beer, stout, whisky, rum and wine. This measure against public gathering, the restricted travel and movement of people between districts, and the No Sunday Services, must be taken in good faith to usher in progress towards having a Zero Results this Festive season and beyond.
Remember he said, “With all the highly skilled health professionals, the hundreds of ambulances, laboratories, Holding and Treatment Centres, we can only succeed when communities, families and individuals of this great nation agree that Ebola is real, it kills, and destroys the gains of a nation”.
Bringing the curtain down, I would like to reiterate in the words of His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, that “Sierra Leone is at war with a vicious enemy”. “Together we wIll defeat Ebola”.
Compliments of the Season! Wishing us all, a prosperous Operation Western Area Surge.
By Jonathan Abass Kamara
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