Salone News

Sierra Leone: Election Madness and the Horror of Existence (Part 1)

9 July 2005 at 12:12 | 759 views

As the year 2007, the year of the next elections in the country slowly approaches, the party in power, the SLPP, and the opposition parties seem to be singing one song, the theme of which is how they are going to do things differently. Nobody is talking about what they will do NOW for the suffering people of Sierra Leone. In this and subsequent articles, we shall be looking at the horror called Sierra Leone.We are going to dissect the country’s problems and make suggestions for improvement while the politicians scheme and plan for 2007. Indeed some analysts consider the year 2007 the next virgin to be deflowered in Sierra Leone...

By Gibril Gbanabome Koroma

One area our politicians are overlooking in their mad frenzy to campaign for the 2007 polls is the lamentable health sector.The country’s hospitals are in a terrible mess, from the capital city of Freetown to the furtherest corners of the interior.
The Connaught hospital, the country’s major hospital, is a ghost of its former self, with crumbling structures and horrendous odours. Most of its qualified doctors have either fled to greener pastures abroad or dived into private practice.This has provided the opportunity for the less qualified ones to have a field day. People like ’The Killer’ (who studied in one of the Iron Curtain countries) and the numerous ’Peppeh Doctas’ (Nurses and dispensers parading as doctors). Characters like these of course give other hard-working and qualified Soviet or Communist-trained doctors a bad name. In short the health service in the country and the health providers are in total disarray, from the minister to the janitors who steal the soap, disinfectants and other tools of their trade to take care their personal needs.
The situation in the interior of the country is of course more sinister.There is hardly a hospital worth the name twenty miles outside the capital.Most of the structures built by the British in the 50s and 60s are turning to dust right in front of the bewildered and helpless rural folks. The few drugs available are being stolen by the doctors and nurses openly and without batting an eyelid. They sell the drugs and take the money home to feed their families. These are people who dont get paid for months. And when they do get paid ( a strange occurrence) they can hardly buy a bag of rice. Theirs is an awful existence.An existence shared by millions of other Sierra Leoneans. Like the French philosopher Descartes, most Sierra Leoneans in Sierra Leone only know that they exist.That is the only certainty they have. Everything else is a mirage. An Illusion. Pure,unmitigated horror.