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TRANSPORT MINISTER COMMENDS PRESIDENT KOROMA
The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma, has commended His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, for providing the necessary robust and proactive leadership in fighting the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Viral Disease (EVD), which struck the country from neighbouring Guinea in May, this year.
The Honourable Minister dilated on the tremendous efforts made by the President and his Cabinet in stemming the menacing virus.
“President Ernest Bai Koroma is all over the country inspecting the construction of holding and treatment centres, talking to the burial teams and urging traditional leaders to do more in containing the epidemic in their respective areas,” the Transport Minister said.
According to the eloquent Minister, “In every war there must be a commander. The Commander-in-Chief took command, established the Ebola Presidential Taskforce of which he is head and to which all Cabinet Ministers are members, representatives of the Diplomatic Community, All Political Parties Association (APPA), Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
The Honourable Minister said, “Beyond that, we also have the Ebola Cabinet because all our issues are specifically based on Ebola issue.”
He maintained that Sierra Leoneans must credit President Ernest Bai Koroma in that he was blunt to have told the world community that they were not doing enough and they all conceded that they didn’t do enough, including the United Nations, World Health Organization and the President of United States of America (USA), Barrack Hussein Obama.
Minister Balogun Koroma was however optimistic that “the figures are coming down and I hope that will continue and with more centres at district and chiefdom level, we’ll contain the epidemic.”
He observed that the movement of people increases the risk of spreading the disease, and also envisaged that even after eliminating the disease from the country, “we should not give up because it might come again.”
The Honourable Minister recalled the story of how there had been recurrence of the virus in countries that had experienced it before, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it had recurred five times.
While sensitization is holding now, though, the Minister warned against traditional and cultural practices such as touching or washing corpses, burying of dead bodies and visiting funeral ceremonies. “It is not easy but we are gradually going,” Minister Balogun Koroma said.
He praised the burial teams for their latest burial strategy which he said encompasses the dignity of the dead wherein Imams and Pastors or Reverends are now allowed to pray on corpses before they take their final rest.
The Transport and Aviation Minister described the Ebola fight as a learning experience, asserting that the outbreak is a miracle to Sierra Leoneans.