In another demonstration of his concern for the welfare of people of Sierra Leone, His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has yesterday 16th August 2012, convened an extra-ordinary meeting comprising government ministers and members of the United Nations (UN) Family in Sierra Leone to discuss and put in place contingency plans to tackle the ongoing outbreak of Cholera in the country.
According to a release sent to Awareness Times from the Office of the Government Spokesman at the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Hon. Haja Zainab Hawa Bangura briefed the forum on the cholera situation in the country. She informed that a total of one hundred and seventy-six (176) victims have died of the disease so far with over ten thousand cases already recorded. This constituted a fatality rate of 1.6% for the disease, which is higher than the international average. For this reason, the cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone now deserves greater attention as it is gravitating towards an epidemic.
President Ernest Koroma has thus set up a Presidential Taskforce to ensure a more coordinated effort to combat the disease.
According to the Government release, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary- General to Sierra Leone, who was also present at the meeting, has pledged that the donor community will effectively collaborate with the Sierra Leone Government in addressing the situation.
The release furthers that the President has ordered the Government Information Ministry to increase sensitisation of the public about the nature of Cholera and how to ensure steps are taken to reduce its spread as well as inform the public about Government’s steps to curtail the outbreak.
President Koroma is reported to have profusely thanked the United Nations Family especially the World Health Organization (WHO) offices in the country who are already assisting the Health Ministry’s provision of technical leadership in Government’s effort to solve the cholera problem.
President Koroma, the release informs, has insisted that the cholera dilemma should be put under control without further delay whilst emphasizing on the pivotal role which the Presidential Taskforce must play in a clearly defined rapid response strategy.
“There is no cause for alarm as Government is working assiduously with its local and international donor partners in bringing the cholera outbreak under control,” the Government Release ends.