Some forty frontline health workers have died of Ebola since the outbreak started in May this year in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone which borders with Guinea & Liberia. Speaking in an interview, Eastern Regional Secretary for the Sierra Leone Health Service Workers Union, Mr. Alex Fatorma said health workers like cleaners, dispensers and nurses have died of Ebola.
He disclosed that as at Monday 14th July 2014, no less than 21 health workers had died from Ebola in Kailahun since the outbreak and for Kenema District, almost 20 more had been recorded as having passed away from Ebola.
According to him, the situation is a cause for alarm and the death of health workers is affecting him directly as he knew them on a personal level. He stated that, the demise of even one health workers in the Ebola war should be a concern to the entire nation. He informed that the demise of nurses from Ebola Disease is being interpreted by ordinary people in a negative way.
“People think that the nurses are the warriors and if anything happens to them and they will begin to ask where we are when our warriors are falling?” he maintained.
He went on to damn the hierachy of the Health Ministry as being unsympathetic to the families of the dead health workers left behind. He said the ministry just does not care so the living health workers now ask of each other, "If I die, what will happen to my family?" infering that the health workers are not protected and there is no hope.
He alleged that recently there was an allowance for health workers at the Ebola Center and some including those who were infected at the Ebola Ward did not receive anything until some of them died.
For the protest action he disclosed, the death of the Senior and Focal Person, Madam Mbalu Fonnie and other heath workers warranted them to raise concern and demands. Madam Mbalu he disclosed with her experience used to guide most of the nurses in service delivery at the Ebola Center pointing out that her death created fear and panic. He said they now want MSF to lead the Kenema Ebola Center before the health staff will have confidence to serve.
“We now need MSF in Kenema because they have more experts and professionals,” he maintained adding that “We also want the center to now be relocated out of the township".
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.