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Online platform set to engage millennials and transform charitable giving

Posted by RCG-SL on December 9, 2014 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

http://www.charitydigitalnews.co.uk/lp/online-platform-set-to-engage-millennials-and-transform-charitable-giving/?utm_source=LI&utm_medium=RM&utm_campaign=ADLP

 

A new online fundraising platform, Makerble, has launched, which is set to transform the world of charitable giving.

 

The platform is the world’s first to use gamification techniques to illustrate social impact. It works by matchmaking an individual’s personal interest with a range of charitable causes and encourages them to donate as little as £1 per month; placing the emphasis on the impact of the donation rather than the amount given.

 

Founder Matt Kebble created the platform to encourage more millennials to donate to charity. According to research, millennials are cynical about giving to charities and would prefer to volunteer rather than donate money. Similarly, although Gen Y donors contributed the least financially to charities, they are the most engaged group online, with 1 in 4 ( 27%) following a cause on a social network and (25%) sharing that cause’s online content with others. Matt believes that there is a real opportunity for the charitable sector to innovate and engage with this group.

 

He said: “Millennials do want to give to charity and actually have significant untapped economic power however they want to know exactly where their money is going. They want greater transparency in the charitable sector and to actually see the difference their money is making- that’s what Makerble does.”

 

“Makerble also appeals to 20 / 30 somethings’ because it encourages people to give as they live based on their own personal interests hence the slogan ‘change to world your way’. My generation are too busy making a living and enjoying life to consciously set up direct debits and conduct thorough research on all the various charitable causes they could sponsor. They are passionate about giving but just want to do it in a way that fits in with their lifestyle. That’s what Makerble is all about- it acts a concierge of your charitable giving doing all the hard work so you don’t have to. It also provides regular updates in a way that is modern, appealing and meaningful using the latest technology”.

 

Matt also hopes Makerble will create a level playing field between small and larger charities by providing equal opportunities for smaller charities to reach new potential donors online.

 

“According to research 70% of funding goes to the top 1% of the biggest charities in the UK and 1 in 6 charities are at risk of closure due to insufficient funding. I believe Makerble can support smaller charities to reach a wider audience and therefore potential donor base, which may not ever get the chance to hear of their work. We already have quite a number of smaller charities on our books.”


Father Fears For His Son

Posted by RCG-SL on December 8, 2014 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The father of the man who escaped traditional wrath after rescuing his younger sister from the hands of Sowes in Mafofoneh Village, Kambia District, is still grieving his loss amidst persistent demands by the elders of the community that his son must answer to the sacrilege he committed.



Muctarr Kabba was informed by some of his family members that his younger sister has been captured and confined in a location awaiting initiation into the Bondo society, a secret female society that carries female genital mutilation.

“I have not seen him since he escaped from their hands,” said a frustrated Pa Alie Kabba.

It was in 2011, according to sources, when Muctarr left Freetown to visit his family in Kambia when he was told that 17 girls will soon be initiated and among them was his younger sister.

Sources said at hearing the news he rushed into the sacred bush and took away his sister.

His father is frustrated the life of his son is in danger and though he has tried all he could to appease the elders; the societal members are still looking for him.

 

Ebola impact in the Mano River Union

Posted by RCG-SL on October 24, 2014 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

By Alpha Bedoh Kamara

The economic devastation caused by the ebola pandemic in the three West African countries most affected: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, all in the Mano River Union, is creating a circle of unseen social instability, economic stagnation and breakdown on societal values.

While efforts by the international community are being centered in the prevention and containment of the virus, they should also be thinking about plans for post-ebola engagements with the governments and people affected because the situation which has already impeded business growth and international relations may adversely threatens the social stability of these three countries.


A report by the World Bank states “The most authoritative model, at the moment, suggests a potential economic drain of as much as $32.6 billion by the end of 2015 if "the epidemic spreads into neighbouring countries" beyond Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to a recent study by the World Bank,” according to http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-15/news/55059496_1_ebola-west-africa-world-bank

If efforts are not speedily put in place and the affected countries not made to stay on course in their development pursuit, their economic burdens will directly or indirectly affect all other nations, especially those countries and private investors doing direct businesses in the region.


In Sierra Leone, reports are indicating that one of the largest employers, the iron ore mining company, African Minerals with almost 10,000 employees, may downsize its workforce to 50 percent thus creating a panic situation to the already battered economy that still has a high rate of unemployment.

Sierra Leoneans are hopeful that the present health situation will not cause this economic potential to stall its activities and therefore are looking forward to what the world will do to salvage the nation and region from the grasp of ebola. The mining sector has over the years being the backbone of economic revenue for Sierra Leone and only, of late, that other economic activities are making a breakthrough and competing with this major sector.


For the previous years the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has reported to the Government of Sierra Leone positive outcomes as a result of the improvement of business activities in the country and enabling the implementation of infrastructures such as road networks, electricity and others, with almost 90 percent Government driven.

This wasn’t the situation when all economic development activities were donor driven and were also directed at ensuring the sustainability of the peace process after the 11 year brutal war was declared over in 2002. Sierra Leone after the war was a nation awakening from the ashes of devastation, mayhem and anarchy, and for the purpose of revamping the economy once more, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, put in place policies favourable for the business environment. This development created a plethora of business ventures and investments in the country and thus reason for the growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and national revenue.


Unlike Africa Mineral Ltd., most other mining companies have packed their tools and fled the land as can also be said of most private companies owned by international investors. Unfortunately, the impact of their actions doesn’t only affect the country but directly or indirectly affects investors and the shareholders who pay taxes to their Governments.

All agricultural activities have also stopped causing a severe breakdown in the production of local foodstuff in Sierra Leone, a situation that has rendered business ventures in the industry unbearable and a great loss to the Government which has been seeing a steady growth in the agricultural sector and creating hope for the majority of Sierra Leoneans engaged in this sector.


Agriculture for over the years has been the major employment opportunity for the majority of the people in the rural sector who are mostly engaged in subsistence farming. There gardens and farms are there only hope of earning income to pay the school fees of their children and taking care of their welfare. In the East of the country where the first case of ebola was reported in Sierra Leone, cocoa farming is the major agricultural activity and the major source of cocao production in the country. But the stigma and international fear surrounding the ebola outbreak, has put on hold on all aspect of agricultural activities as the people now sit in their houses because of the fear of infection.

In just few months after the virus started to take its unholy hold of our region there were spates of social instability, distrust, suspicion and all forms of claims pointed at the governments of having an idea of the spread of the virus and the opposition political parties deliberately exploiting the gullible public and created their own strategies of progandas with aims to create disfavor for the ruling governments.

In Guinea, officials and social workers assigned to informed the people about the virus were mobbed and killed, causing international concern and fear that ebola might not only be a health situation but also an issue of security concern for the affected countries in the region.

In Liberia, a group of young people armed with sticks and iron bars attacked an ebola epicenter, ram-sacked the facility and caused the patients to run away claiming that ebola isn’t real.


In Sierra Leone, despite ongoing efforts and involvement of the international community and the presence of military personnel from the UK, Sierra Leone’s former colonial master, there are people that are still inciting others against the governments and undermining efforts to contain the virus.

The economic situations in Guinea and Liberia are not different from Sierra Leone and while efforts are being made to contain the virus in the region Western nations should also be made to know that ebola is not created in this region but an alien virus that has taken the region by surprise; and therefore, any efforts to further create measures to isolate these three countries will be tantamount to fueling apprehension and social unrest.


The three governments are trying to ensure the virus is controlled and finally stopped from spreading but the bigger challenge, which is presently being addressed, is social behavior and belief amongst our people.

Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have for decades almost shared everything in common with people from these three countries traversing the borders without the bother for documents. Intermarriages are common and most tribes share similar cultures thus creating an uncontrollable urge of family bonds spanning from one country to the other. It is common with people from the three countries sharing the same family line, especially with those closer to the borders.

The fate of Sierra Leone is also made critical as a result of the seemingly better medical facilities as compared to Guinea and Liberia because people from these two countries often come to hospitals in Sierra Leone for medical care.

A case in Lunsar, North of Sierra Leone, where a nurse was infected was as a result of a case of a man from Guinea who was allegedly and unknowingly admitted at a hospital in the township. The man died at the hospital but then the nurse also became ill and unknowingly infected her mother.


In Kailahun, where the first case of the ebola virus was reported, the incident was also as a result of residents in the border part of Sierra Leone allegedly crossing over to help a patient in Guinea.

It is for some of these reasons that when the outbreak started in Guinea, and then Liberia, Sierra Leone became a victim because of the movement of people from one part to the other, and considering the porous borders, the various governments find it difficult to control the spread of the virus.

The spread of the virus, like the wars that plagued Sierra Leone and Liberia, is annihilating the economies of these three countries and like the war; there is need for international consensus for emergency intervention in containing the virus. These three countries cannot now be able to do it by themselves but with the support of the international community can make it possible for their people.

 

 

Ebola impact in the Mano River Union

Posted by RCG-SL on October 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

By Alpha Bedoh Kamara

The economic devastation caused by the ebola pandemic in the three West African countries most affected: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, all in the Mano River Union, is creating a circle of unseen social instability, economic stagnation and breakdown on societal values.


While efforts by the international community are being centered in the prevention and containment of the virus, they should also be thinking about plans for post-ebola engagements with the governments and people affected because the situation which has already impeded business growth and international relations may adversely threatens the social stability of these three countries.


A report by the World Bank states “The most authoritative model, at the moment, suggests a potential economic drain of as much as $32.6 billion by the end of 2015 if "the epidemic spreads into neighbouring countries" beyond Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to a recent study by the World Bank,” according to http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-15/news/55059496_1_ebola-west-africa-world-bank


If efforts are not speedily put in place and the affected countries not made to stay on course in their development pursuit, their economic burdens will directly or indirectly affect all other nations, especially those countries and private investors doing direct businesses in the region.


In Sierra Leone, reports are indicating that one of the largest employers, the iron ore mining company, African Minerals with almost 10,000 employees, may downsize its workforce to 50 percent thus creating a panic situation to the already battered economy that still has a high rate of unemployment.


Sierra Leoneans are hopeful that the present health situation will not cause this economic potential to stall its activities and therefore are looking forward to what the world will do to salvage the nation and region from the grasp of ebola. The mining sector has over the years being the backbone of economic revenue for Sierra Leone and only, of late, that other economic activities are making a breakthrough and competing with this major sector.


For the previous years the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has reported to the Government of Sierra Leone positive outcomes as a result of the improvement of business activities in the country and enabling the implementation of infrastructures such as road networks, electricity and others, with almost 90 percent Government driven.


This wasn’t the situation when all economic development activities were donor driven and were also directed at ensuring the sustainability of the peace process after the 11 year brutal war was declared over in 2002. Sierra Leone after the war was a nation awakening from the ashes of devastation, mayhem and anarchy, and for the purpose of revamping the economy once more, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, put in place policies favourable for the business environment. This development created a plethora of business ventures and investments in the country and thus reason for the growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and national revenue.

Unlike Africa Mineral Ltd., most other mining companies have packed their tools and fled the land as can also be said of most private companies owned by international investors. Unfortunately, the impact of their actions doesn’t only affect the country but directly or indirectly affects investors and the shareholders who pay taxes to their Governments.


All agricultural activities have also stopped causing a severe breakdown in the production of local foodstuff in Sierra Leone, a situation that has rendered business ventures in the industry unbearable and a great loss to the Government which has been seeing a steady growth in the agricultural sector and creating hope for the majority of Sierra Leoneans engaged in this sector.

Agriculture for over the years has been the major employment opportunity for the majority of the people in the rural sector who are mostly engaged in subsistence farming. There gardens and farms are there only hope of earning income to pay the school fees of their children and taking care of their welfare. In the East of the country where the first case of ebola was reported in Sierra Leone, cocoa farming is the major agricultural activity and the major source of cocao production in the country. But the stigma and international fear surrounding the ebola outbreak, has put on hold on all aspect of agricultural activities as the people now sit in their houses because of the fear of infection.

In just few months after the virus started to take its unholy hold of our region there were spates of social instability, distrust, suspicion and all forms of claims pointed at the governments of having an idea of the spread of the virus and the opposition political parties deliberately exploiting the gullible public and created their own strategies of progandas with aims to create disfavor for the ruling governments.

In Guinea, officials and social workers assigned to informed the people about the virus were mobbed and killed, causing international concern and fear that ebola might not only be a health situation but also an issue of security concern for the affected countries in the region.

In Liberia, a group of young people armed with sticks and iron bars attacked an ebola epicenter, ram-sacked the facility and caused the patients to run away claiming that ebola isn’t real.


In Sierra Leone, despite ongoing efforts and involvement of the international community and the presence of military personnel from the UK, Sierra Leone’s former colonial master, there are people that are still inciting others against the governments and undermining efforts to contain the virus.

The economic situations in Guinea and Liberia are not different from Sierra Leone and while efforts are being made to contain the virus in the region Western nations should also be made to know that ebola is not created in this region but an alien virus that has taken the region by surprise; and therefore, any efforts to further create measures to isolate these three countries will be tantamount to fueling apprehension and social unrest.

The three governments are trying to ensure the virus is controlled and finally stopped from spreading but the bigger challenge, which is presently being addressed, is social behavior and belief amongst our people.

Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have for decades almost shared everything in common with people from these three countries traversing the borders without the bother for documents. Intermarriages are common and most tribes share similar cultures thus creating an uncontrollable urge of family bonds spanning from one country to the other. It is common with people from the three countries sharing the same family line, especially with those closer to the borders.


The fate of Sierra Leone is also made critical as a result of the seemingly better medical facilities as compared to Guinea and Liberia because people from these two countries often come to hospitals in Sierra Leone for medical care.

A case in Lunsar, North of Sierra Leone, where a nurse was infected was as a result of a case of a man from Guinea who was allegedly and unknowingly admitted at a hospital in the township. The man died at the hospital but then the nurse also became ill and unknowingly infected her mother.

In Kailahun, where the first case of the ebola virus was reported, the incident was also as a result of residents in the border part of Sierra Leone allegedly crossing over to help a patient in Guinea.


It is for some of these reasons that when the outbreak started in Guinea, and then Liberia, Sierra Leone became a victim because of the movement of people from one part to the other, and considering the porous borders, the various governments find it difficult to control the spread of the virus.

The spread of the virus, like the wars that plagued Sierra Leone and Liberia, is annihilating the economies of these three countries and like the war; there is need for international consensus for emergency intervention in containing the virus. These three countries cannot now be able to do it by themselves but with the support of the international community can make it possible for their people.

 

 

ODINSAL Provides Support In Ebola Fight In Sierra Leone

Posted by RCG-SL on September 29, 2014 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

By Alpha Bedoh Kamara



Mrs. Kallon handing over Personal Protective Equipment to healtcare workers


The Non-Governmental Organization, ODINSAL, which over the years has engaged in educational and health related issues in Sierra Leone, is now supporting efforts by the Government of Sierra Leone to contain the spread of the Ebola virus.

Sierra Leone and Liberia have been especially hard hit, and officials have warned that both countries could see a surge in cases soon. Sierra Leone is expecting to uncover potentially hundreds of new cases when volunteers go house to house looking for the sick during a three-day lockdown later this month. The World Health Organization has said Liberia could see many thousands of new cases in the coming weeks.

The worst Ebola outbreak in history has also hit Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal, and has been blamed for more than 2,200 deaths across West Africa.

The disease is taking a particularly heavy toll on health care workers, whose jobs put them at high risk because Ebola is only transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of people showing symptoms or dead bodies. More than 135 health workers have died in the outbreak so far, exacerbating shortages of doctors and nurses in countries that already had too few medical workers to begin with.

Healthcare workers attached to the hospital of the organization, Old Dominion Hospital, visited the Levuma community, one of the most deprived villages in Sierra Leone and sensitize the people about the spread of the virus and also providing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

Adama, the head of the clinic, and other nurses also engaged the counselors and community heads of the village. The activity by the hospital, according to Adama, is providing positive response as a result of the good relationship between them and the Ministry of Health.

“We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of health,” she said, adding that they are doing everything possible to continue efforts in containing the spread of the virus.

He also said the immunization exercise is still ongoing and that all the resources are being provided by the founder of the organization, Mrs. Kadiatu Kallon, a Sierra Leonean resident in the United States of America. The organization has also recently constructed a library block stocked with books worth millions of Leoneans in Magburaka and donated to the community.

In Freetown, efforts are being made by the organization to engage other stakeholders at community level for better understanding of the virus and how to prevent its spread.

“We are grateful to the founder and CEO of this organization and also all those that are supporting her works in Sierra Leone,” Chief Alhaji Bangura said while receiving a package containing isolation gowns, gloves and other protective tools.

Efforts by Mrs. Kallon and ODINSAL are being commended by various stakeholders in the country and are pleading with the organization to extend its operation in other parts of the country.

The Founder and CEO, Mrs. Kadiatu Kallon, said in a telephone interview that what she is doing is ‘giving back to society’ because she believes that for Sierra Leone to develop, health and education must be at the center of every activity in the country’s development pursuit.

She said the Government alone cannot push all the processes and thus the need for everyone’s responsibility to give a hand.

“Our response will complement Government’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus. We are also grateful to the support of our friends in the US and hope the contribution we are making will positively impact in the country’s development efforts.


 

China Intervenes In Ebola Fight In Sierra Leone

Posted by RCG-SL on September 27, 2014 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)


China CDC Team & Amb., H.E. Yanbo with Pres. Koroma

The Chinese Government has again come onboard fully in Sierra Leone to contain the spread of ebola by installing a temporal mobile lab and permanent lab structure.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China through its Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday 5th September presented proposals to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma for the installation of one temporary mobile lab and a permanent lab structure to improve the diagnosis of Ebola and stop its transmission in Sierra Leone.

 

According to the Director of CDC-China, Wang Lu, the temporary mobile lab will be installed in ten days at the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital at Jui to assist frontline health workers to further slow the transmission of the disease, and it would take three months to install the permanent lab for long term use.

 

“To stop transmission we have to collect blood samples from infected persons which is our main purpose of being in the country,” he said, and quickly added that the labs are all level three biosafety facilities.

 

The delegation was warmly welcomed by President Koroma, who took time to explain and illustrate the daunting challenges government is contending with in responding to cases or samples that needed to be tested.

 

“We also have great challenges in the numbers that we have sampled. We need to sample as many as we could so that we can stop person to person transmission.”

 

This, he said, will pave the way for the reduction and eventual elimination of the virus in the country.

 

The President expressed profound gratitude to the government and people of China for coming to the country’s aid as soon as the outbreak was reported in May this year. He related how government is developing the human and institutional capacity to deal with the outbreak, which he described as “very new to us”.

 

President Koroma assured the CDC-China delegation of government’s support to establish the labs and make them operational within the shortest possible time as that will reduce a lot of pressure on existing labs and also help to absorb the growing numbers being reported in the western and northern regions.

 

The President further explained that the labs would be useful even after the Ebola outbreak as they will help strengthen the capacity of the health sector, adding that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation will engage the CDC-China team through the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), to ensure rapid implementation of the proposals.

 

President Koroma used the meeting as an opportunity to enquire about the availability of the new anti-Ebola drug, JK-O5, reportedly manufactured by China. The Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo promised to review the President’s request through Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Presenting the delegation to President Koroma, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Samura Kamara informed the President the CDC-China team led by the Director of Disease Control and Prevention, Mr. Wang Lu, is in the country to construct, install, and manage the labs at the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital, which will be transformed into an Ebola treatment centre. He noted that broader sample testing will be done at the permanent lab after installation within 3 months.

 

The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E. Zhao Yanbo said that the advance medical team arrived in Freetown on Tuesday and will be setting up a mobile lab within ten days with readily available materials to help contain the spread of the disease in the country.

 

“Time is life, that is why the CDC team leader Mr. Wang Lu led the team to the country to install the labs quickly,” the Ambassador said.

 

 

China successfully tests Ebola RNA samples for 1st time

Posted by RCG-SL on September 27, 2014 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Chinese experts have successfully tested the Ebola RNA samples for the first time at Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital, some 30 kilometers from the capital city Freetown.


 

Medical experts of a laboratory team from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention test samples of Ebola virus at Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, Sept 25, 2014. (Xinhua)


The successful test was recorded on Wednesday, said Qian Jun, leader of a laboratory team from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

The five samples were provided by South Africa Ebola Mobile Lab in Lakka of Sierra Leone, and the confirmatory testing results from the Chinese lab showed four positive and one negative. This is the first contact of Chinese experts with Ebola virus, according to Qian.

 

The Chinese team standardized the testing process to strengthen the bio-security and adopted four kits to test and re-test to ensure the accuracy of testing results.

 

They used the kits produced by the Military Veterinary Institute of the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the Institute of Radiation Medicine of the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology of the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and the Disease Virus Research Institute of the Chinese CDC.

 

"The testing results are exactly the same, which proved all these methods have good repeatability," said Qian. The team then shared the testing results with the South Africa lab and were confirmed by their counterpart.

 

"This is the Chinese lab's first attempt at the Ebola virus testing and got a perfect start with the results accuracy rate of 100 percent," Qian said the blind sample testing verified the testing capability of the Chinese lab and proved the kits and testing methods developed by China with good specificity and sensitivity.

 

"The Chinese lab team already attained the ability to test the Ebola RNA positive samples," said Gao Fu, the Deputy Director of the Chinese CDC, who was also working with the team in Freetown.

Story courtesy of http://www.ecns.cn/

Sierra Leone widens Ebola quarantine to three more districts

Posted by RCG-SL on September 25, 2014 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has widened a quarantine to include another one million people in an attempt to curb the spread of Ebola.



The northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali and Moyamba in the south have been sealed off immediately.


Nearly 600 people have died of the virus in Sierra Leone and two eastern districts have been isolated since the beginning of August.


The move follows a three-day nationwide lockdown that ended on Sunday night.

New figures released by the UN World Health Organization show that 2,917 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea worst affected.


Two eastern districts have already been isolated and the extension of the indefinite quarantine means more than a third of Sierra Leone's 6.1 million population now finds itself unable to move freely.


During Sierra Leone's three-day curfew, more than a million households were surveyed and 130 new cases discovered, the authorities say.

Abba Abashi, Liberian-Nigerian student: "My mum caught me crying"


President Koroma said the move had been a success but had exposed "areas of greater challenges", which was why other areas were being quarantined.

Only people delivering essential services can enter and circulate within areas under quarantine.


Skills shortage:

In a televised address, the president acknowledged that the blockade would "pose great difficulties" for people.

"[But] the life of everyone and the survival of our country take precedence over these difficulties," he said.

According to WHO, the situation nationally in Sierra Leone continues to deteriorate with a sharp increase in the number of newly reported cases in the capital, Freetown, and its neighbouring districts of Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba, which are now under quarantine.

 

Human Rights Boss Talks on Rights and Ebola

Posted by RCG-SL on September 23, 2014 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

By Alpha Bedoh Kamara

The Human Rights Commission in Sierra Leone (HRCSL) is continuing efforts in the promotion of human rights in the country and new Boss, Mr. Brima A. Sheriff, says the Commission will be utilizing the efforts of all stakeholders in the promotion of human rights to ensure the protection of all.


However, faced with the ebola crises that continue to crumple the economy and almost annihilating the functions of most institutions, the HRC now faces a new fight.

This challenge, according to Mr. Sheriff, is being looked at with a human rights perspective and thus committing the Commission to set up an ebola task force and realigning most of their resources towards ebola.

“We want to ensure we fulfill the mandate in the Act, see how the Commission will support Government to respect, promotes and protect human rights in Sierra Leone,” Mr. Sheriff said during an interview in his office on Friday.

“We will be working with the Government in terms of providing support in reporting development in human rights issues in the country. We will also be working with the media because we believe the media is a powerful front in the promotion of Human Rights at senior and directorate levels,” he said, adding that, one key aspect the Commission will be utilizing is working strategically with NGOs, civil society and International Non-Governmental Organizations.

But the promotion of human rights in the country will be farfetched without the collaboration of traditional stakeholders whose regions have the highest rates of violations and abuse.

Sheriff said the Commission will address this challenge by engaging traditional leaders at a very high level and also work with state institutions and guide them to know the law because the HRC believes in engagement.

“People should know that human rights violation is a violation whether it falls under cultural rights or not,” he said, adding that as they continue to work on the ebola pandemic in epicenters and quarantined zones, they are looking at the right to health and dignity of ebola victims. How are they being treated and access to information?

“In July, HRC went to epicenters to look at the rights situation of patients and as a result mobile phones are now provided for patients to communicate with their families. We are also working to ensure that food and water are provided as well as psychological counselling,” he said, reiterating further that, the most vulnerable people are orphans, disabled and the elderly in society.

He also commit his leadership in continuing to build on what has already been built, stating “We will be meeting the press every week and prepare lots of human rights packages to be made available in all the regions”.

“We will be reaching out to our people with media tools created in their local languages,” he disclosed.

He also said he has started holding meetings with different directorates to ensure that awareness on human rights cuts across institutions and people.

 

Health Workers Critical To Ministry???s Positive Impact

Posted by RCG-SL on September 23, 2014 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Banadette Lahai, while commending President Koroma for appointing two health professionals to serve as ministers in the Ministry of Health said she is optimistic they will make the expected impact if the doctors, nurses and other health care workers provide the willingness, commitment and patriotism to support their efforts.

Presidential Nominees for the position of Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah and Deputy Minister II (Two), Madam Madina Rahman, have been unanimously ratified by Parliament to serve as substantive Minister of Health and Deputy Minister respectively.

The two nominees, Dr. Fofanah and Madam Rahman, were ratified by Parliament after eminently declared qualified in the Well of Parliament clouded by nurses, doctors and other Health professionals.

The Parliamentarians noted that the two nominees are coming in at a very difficult and challenging time, describing the situation as ‘a time to measure their performances’.

Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah is licensed to practice medicine in both Great Britain and Sierra Leone, and graduated with a BSC in Basic Medical Sciences, Masters in Physiology, MB. Ch. B, and holds an Advanced Diploma in Tropical Medicine accredited by Mastership of the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Fofanah also has to his credit an Advance Diploma in Public Health Tropical Medicine from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Berlin Germany, where he graduated with an Advance Certificate in Vaccinology.

The new Health Minister holds a Joint European Masters in International Health and majored in Communicable Disease Control and prevention for developing countries.

He is a fine and admirable University Lecturer at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) University of Sierra Leone.

The Deputy Minister II (Two), Madam Madina Rahman, is a highly qualified Nurse, worked in reputable health Institutions in the United States and back home has been providing consultancy to the Ministry of Health, coordinating staff training and welfare with a resourceful cordial relationship with the Directorate of Nursing Services.

Madam Rahman is conscientiously particular about the ethics and code of practice in the nursing profession, and Infection Prevention Control.

She diligently served the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital, Ola During Children’s hospital, Lakka, Lumley and Connaught hospitals, among other pertinent services, rendered to the Ministry.

 

 

EDITORIAL: Heartless and Unpatriotic

Posted by RCG-SL on September 23, 2014 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Our people are dying and our lives are being threatened on a daily bases by ebola and when some Sierra Leoneans are taking the risk to contain the spread of the virus others are bent on exploiting the situation for money.

Heartless and unpatriotic! Reason for our nation to continue to swaddle in the slow development pace we are in, despite continued efforts by the Government to change our economic and social predicament.

As long as we continue to think like aliens in our own country, betray the efforts of our Governments and use foul mediums to drag the image of the state to disrepute, we are only killing the people we pretend to protect.

There are Sierra Leoneans who could better be identified enemies of the state due to their action in society and their contribution to the predicament of the people.

Stories abound of people greedily making rich in the agonies of the people of Sierra Leone.

Millions of Leones were given to some people in society to mount robust ebola awareness raising campaigns; but then, rumours are rife that those trusted individuals, are having amongst them, people who have already fall short of credibility and are greedily digging into the remains of the carcass.

While the Government, friends of Sierra Leone and patriotic citizens are doing all they could to contain the virus, there are those that are filing wrong information to the diaspora and painting the nation in bad colours.

Recently, there was rumour in the US that the World Bank has stopped support for Sierra Leone as a result of Government’s handling of ebola monies. There was also the wrong report that the recent strike action of nurses was as a result of unpaid salaries.

The information created uproar in the diaspora until when some sectors got the right information to the cause of the strike action. But then, for God’s sake, are we making Sierra Leone or destroying the only country we have? Are we seeking the interest of our people or creating a platform for our own selfish gains?

As the nation continues to struggle and needing all hands on deck for containment of the virus, there are those whose focus is about money, money, and money! Sad to say that despite all that was done to ensure a change of attitude, our mindset are still obliterated.

However, there is still hope for there are those that want a better Sierra Leone and as we heed to the call for the three days home stay, let us make full use of the moment and make ebola history.

Let us inform our stubborn friends and families that ebola is real; that they must not seek ‘pepper doctors’; must not touch bodies of ebola victims; and must heed to information from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

For us to be able to contain the virus and ensure that Sierra Leone is free from further ebola ravage we must make use of the information now available to us and help sensitize others, especially the most vulnerable in society and illiterates.

We must make good use of these days and ensure we win this health war so that those heartless and unpatriotic people will not savour their makings, but remain to regret their folly in society.

 

National Policy on Non-Communicable Diseases Launched

Posted by RCG-SL on September 9, 2013 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

SierraLeone’s National Policy and the Strategic Plan of Action for Non-CommunicableDiseases for 2013 – 2017 have been launched by the Ministerof Health and Sanitation,Miatta Kargbo, on Friday 6th September2013 at the Miata Conference Hall.

The saidimplementation of the National Non-Communicable Diseases Strategic Plan isessential for the reduction of the prevalence of NCDs in Sierra Leone.

“Theimplementation of this National Policy on NCDs will be of great significance inthe reduction of the burden of NCDs in Sierra Leone. currently, it is therenewed focus of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to integrate theprevention and control of NCDs at all levels of care in our health caredelivery system,” she said.


 


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