From the Editor’s Keyboard

Ebola at Sierra Leone’s Doorstep

By  | 1 April 2014 at 19:11 | 1008 views

A couple of days ago we reported the outbreak of the deadly disease Ebola in neighbouring Guinea which shares numerous border points with Sierra Leone including Gbalamuya and Kasirie (Kambia district), villages near Kabala (Koinadugu district), Koindu (Kailahun district), villages in Kono district and many others. People also travel daily by sea, especially from Freetown, the capital, to and from Guinea. So, in my mind, when tragedy strikes in Guinea it’s like Sierra Leone is being attacked.

So we advised the Sierra Leone government to take precautionary measures and they seem to have done so in their own little (some of would pitiable ) way except for one thing: They said, with the utmost confidence, that Sierra Leone was not under threat and that there is no Ebola in Sierra Leone. When I heard that I said to myself: " What the.... These people are not serious. What evidence do they have for that assertion with the "gbekeyekeh" technology they have?"

Anyway, the Ebola menace has intensified in Guinea according to recent reports by international media and Senegal has shut its border with Guinea. The fact of the matter is Sierra Leone cannot fight Ebola without international help. It cannot even fight Malaria effectively, not to talk of Ebola which has no known cure.

Maybe Ministry of Health officials in Freetown and the government in general should immediately call for outside help before it’s too late. And they should immediately start considering the political and economic implications of closing the borders with Guinea and stopping sea and river travel to Guinea for a period of at least three months. President Alpha Conde, a notable Pan-Africanist and good friend of Sierra Leone, will certainly understand why it is necessary for us to do so. So will our numerous traders whose livelihoods depend on commerce with Guinea. I am sure they would not like to have their lives taken away by the dreadful Ebola.