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Showing posts from July, 2014

Dr. Sheik Umar Khan Passes away in Sierra Leone

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In these days of unnecessary politicization of life in Sierra Leone,  it is rare for the people of the troubled West African country to display solidarity on anything. Yesterday however,  Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life were united in their grief over the death of the doctor leading the fight against Ebola in the country Dr. Sheik Umar Khan.
Dr. Khan was a Lassa Fever specialist who saw himself at the forefront of the country's fight against the dreaded Ebola virus that is currently on the rampage in Sierra Leone and the neighboring countries of Liberia and Guinea,  with recently reported instances in Mali and Nigeria. Lassa Fever, which is spread by a species of small mice common in Sierra Leone, was a major scourge in the East of  the country back in the 1980s. It is characterized by extreme fever and an inflammation of the mucous membranes and was extremely fatal in those days.
However, with the timely intervention of the US sponsored Lassa Fever Research Project locat…

Sierra Leone and the Politics of Ebola

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If there is one thing Sierra Leonean politicians excel at, it would be the politicization of tragedy. While the Ebola outbreak is growing rampant in the country, ravaging the countryside,  striking fear and terror, and bringing the cold hand of death in the unlikeliest of places, the infection is fast becoming the latest publicity tool in the hands of our country's chronically political statesmen and women.
To our President's Special Executive Assistant  Sylvia Blyden,  Ebola fell like manna from heaven. Our President's Special Assistant now sleeps with a laptop either under her pillow or between her knees, ensuring that the first word she types upon waking up every morning is -E-B-O-L-A, Ebola.
To a person like the SEA, the Ebola has been a golden opportunity to get back into the limelight at a time when many people had started ignoring her daily drama and meaningless rants. Ebola has replaced seditious libel. Rumor has it that the first thing the SEA does every mornin…

Sierra Leone Should Recalibrate Ebola Response

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The sheer incompetence with which the Ebola outbreak has been handled in Sierra Leone is mind boggling. When government first made the fateful decision to move Ebola patients from the relatively isolated areas of Kailahun district to the populated Eastern capital of Kenema,  I did in one of my earlier postings question the wisdom of such a move. For a deadly virus like Ebola,  isolation simply does not simply mean building isolated wards in populated areas. It actually means confining such outbreaks in remote locations, away from population centers.
Unfortunately,  the response to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone at the official level been mired in mudslinging and political infighting.
Instead of having a Presidential task force comprised of district leaders,  the President's circle of trusted advisers and leading infectious disease specialists working together to stem the outbreak, the response has been characterized by political grandstanding,  accusations of disrespect and…

Leone Stars-Seychelles 2-0 African Nations Cup Qualifier Commentary

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Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission Partners up with Songhai Technologies

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Houston, Texas, July 18th: The Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission has reached an agreement with creators of the Sierra Leone App to create a real time corruption reporting link within the App for citizens and non-citizens alike within or out of the country to report acts of corruption to the commission directly from their phones.
In a telephone call from Freetown the head of the Commission Mr. Joseph Kamara told the Creator of the App, Founder and CEO of Songhai Technologies Mr. Leslie Koroma that he was pleased to partner with his organization to be able to use current 21st Century technological tools to help in the fight against corruption in the country and that even before the agreement was concluded he had already been touting the upcoming feature of the Link within the App to Civil Society groups within the country.
Mr. Koroma thanked the Commissioner for seeing the value of what technology can do for the Commission and also giving Songhai technologies an opportunity to se…

World Cup Goes to Semi-finals: Once Again it is South America vs Europe

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Tomorrow we enter into the deep phase of World Cup 2014, the Semi-finals. Having lived in America for some time, one is tempted to call it the "Soccer World Cup," as Americans do,  but truly it is simply the World Cup; the most coveted trophy in the history of sports, bringing history,honor, respect and awe to whoever manages to clinch it and the enviable title, "world champions!"
My prayer is to live long enough to one day see either USA or Sierra Leone clinch that cup! Some may call me a dreamer, but I prefer being called an optimist with a little dose of fantasy.
Oh and guess what?  Once again the usual suspects are lined up to capture the trophy and take it home. The world cup will not go to Africa, North America, Asia or Australia. It will go once again to Either Europe or South America and that's final.
I could be wrong, but I think only Europe and South America has ever won the world cup and it is not funny,  considering the amount of time, money and o…

The Ebola, Constructive Engagement and the SEA

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We have all in various ways condemned the poor response to the Ebola epidemic by Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health. The loudest critic ironically was the President's own Special Executive Assistant who wanted to seize this opportunity to remind Sierra Leoneans that yes, she is a medical doctor and considers herself one of the best doctors in the country,  though she has yet to give an injection. Of course she just couldn't pass up this opportunity to once again engage in her usual malicious attacks, this time her target being the country's Minister of Health Miatta Kargbo and the State House Communications teams. Now that the journalists in Sierra Leone have decided to just ignore her rabble rousing, she seems to have closed that attack avenue, at least for now.
To raise awareness of her anger at being sidelined in the Ebola response and,  as she says, disrespected by people not yet of "cabinet rank," the Special Executive Assistant embarked on a sit down s…

Sierra Leone President makes new Appointments

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Following much criticism over the slow pace of appointments to sensitive positions in the country, the President of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has today made the following appointments:
Amb. Henry Macauley - Minister of Energy.
Mr. Maya Kaikai-             Resident Minister East.
Major Ismail Koroma-    Deputy Minister of Energy I, Distribution and Supply. Mr. Hassan Barrie-          Deputy Minister of Energy II, Generation and Transmission. Mr. Momodou Kargbo-   Governor Bank of Sierra Leone. Dr. Ibrahim Stevens-       Deputy Governor Bank of Sierra Leone. Mr. Saidu Conton Sesay- Chief of Staff, Office of the President

Tegloma Federation Joins The Fight Against Ebola in Sierra Leone

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The dreaded Ebola virus outbreak which is currently wrecking massive havoc in the Mano River Union states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has surpassed all former Ebola incidents to become the most devastating one in the history of the disease.
The Ebola virus strain which has surfaced in Sierra Leone is particularly virulent with a fatality rate in the region of 90% and no known cure. The virus results in Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever which results in bleeding from body orifices and a painful death. It is highly contagious.
In Sierra Leone,  the Ebola outbreak has not only been rapid in its spread, but has been particularly devastating in it's impact, effectively moving through the Eastern Kailahun district and causing massive fatalities in the course of just two months. It has now been confirmed in the urban Eastern capital Kenema as many people feared, it is now reportedly moving northwards.
The first official report of an outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa was on Mar…