Ministry of Health & Sanitation, Local Government & Rural Development & NaCOVERC Undertake Consultations with Paramount Chiefs on Ebola Preparedness & COVID-19 Prevention.
In a proactive gesture to discourage the Ebola Virus Disease that has surfaced in neighboring Guinea from reaching Sierra Leone and to also reinforce precautionary messages on COVID-19, representatives from NaCOVERC, Ministries of Health & Sanitation and Local Government have on 1st & 2nd March 2020 engaged Paramount Chiefs of Bombali & Port Loko District.
In his introductory remarks, the NaCOVERC Official Spokesperson, Hon. Solomon Jamiru pointed out that Paramount Chiefs deserve a resounding place in the history of the fight against Ebola Virus and COVID-19. He continued that Sierra Leone, being a brilliant example other countries have referenced in dealing with the pandemic owes it accolades to not only the strong and decisive leadership of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio but also a scientific based national strategic plan from the outset and citizen’s ownership of the fight.
The Director of Local Government, Brima Newman Combey established the authoritative influence Paramount Chiefs have on their communities and the pivotal role they play in achieving adherence. During this preparedness stage, he informed Paramount Chiefs to reactivate, strengthen and where possible modify the existing by-laws that were used during EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone. In the same regard, he urged them (through the National Council of Paramount Chiefs) to revisit and hasten implementation of these by-laws.
The Project Manager for Emergency Preparedness Response(EPR) Mukeh Fahnbulleh in his key messages on Ebola Virus Disease made a vivid retrospective presentation that took the minds of his audience back to that very dark moment in the nation’s history and reasons why Paramount Chiefs in their respective communities and other stakeholders should prevent it from ever resurfacing.
The host Regent Chief of Pakeloko Chiefdom, Port Loko District Abass Kanu relayed his profound appreciation for the early recognition and pledged his unsparing support to the fight against Ebola and COVID-19. However, series of concerns were put forward by other Chiefs for consideration with key emphasis revolving around political interference, National by-laws, undefined roles/mandates of local authorities, unmanned marine border crossing areas and logistical challenges.
Similar deliberations with Paramount Chiefs of South Eastern province will commence on the 3rd & 4th March 2020 in Bo & Kenema respectively.