It is to be recalled that
local media had repeatedly reported on the spreading
epidemic - on the rising numbers of people affected and
deaths recorded and yet the see no evil, hear no evil
cabal continued sitting on its hands until concerns were
raised by the international community within and outside
Even as people were dying
and the affected were crying out for help,
government-controlled media outlets kept sealed lips
praising their chief benefactor to high heavens on how
his government had converted the country into their
version of utopia as the poor and unconnected succumbed
to their affliction.
Al Jazeera revealed
that the government had now declared the cholera
outbreak a national emergency stating that this decision
was reached after a meeting between the government,
representatives of the World Health Organisation, WHO
and the United Nations Children's organisation, UNICEF.
According to the
World Health Organisation (WHO), of eight of the
country's 13 districts are affected by the outbreak,
with the increase in the number of cases in the
Western Area of particular concern. Other badly
affected districts are Port Loko in the north of the
country, where 43 people have died and Moyamba in
the south where 35 people have died.
The WHO and other agencies
have noted on their web pages that
WHO, UNICEF and health
partners have increased their support to the MoHS to
scale up response to by strengthening social
mobilization and communication activities at the
community level. Refresher training on cholera case
management is in the pipeline to further reinforce
peripheral health units operating across the
affected districts. Partners such as MSF-Belgium are
supporting the establishment and operation of a
network of special cholera treatment centers.
Current preventive measures being used to control
the epidemic include treating ill persons with oral
rehydration solution as early as possible when
symptoms start, providing access to safe water, and
encouraging good hygiene and sanitation practices.
Reports from the capital
Freetown say the government has admitted it did not
provide enough resources to halt the initial reports of
the disease outbreak wishing it away instead of doing
something positive to save the lives of the afflicted.
And this from a government that has been busy siphoning
any and all sources of revenue into the pockets of its
operatives, completely ignoring warning signs from the
Government Audit Office on the corruption that has
become the calling card of all of its functionaries -
from those within the borders of Sierra Leone to those
who have been feathering their corruption nests in our
Even though the
Auditor-General had requested proper accounting from the
Financial Secretary into how double payments were made
to State House over the President on his jamborees to
United Nations General Assembly, no
action has been taken by a Financial Secretary who was
thrust into such a serious and important position after
he had soiled his hands over those ferries and was
ordered to refund a certain amount. There has been no
public statement as to whether he had refunded the money
as stipulated by the Anti Corruption Commission.
6. Duplication of payment in
respect of United Nations general assembly meetings
The following were observed:
That MOFED paid twice for
accommodation and other incidental allowances in respect of the United Nations
General Assembly Meetings in New York-once to the Office of the Secretary to the
President and again to the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
During the Financial year 2008,
the Office of the Secretary to the President received US$57,161 for the 63rd
UN General Assembly Meeting; for the same period an amount of US$43,800 was also
remitted to the Mission for the same purpose.
In the 2009 Financial Year, the
MOFED paid US$46,691.00 in respect of the 64th UN General Assembly
Meeting and remitted US$36,596 to the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission for the
During the 2010 Financial Year,
the Office of the Secretary to the President received US$54,267 to cover
accommodation, incidental and imprest in respect of the 65th UN
General Assembly meeting and for the same period an amount of US$49,915 was
remitted to the Mission.
Of utmost concern to the auditor
was the unavailability of the relevant supporting documents and schedules to
cover those payments. We therefore recommended that the Financial Secretary
should explain, with substantial evidence, why duplicate payments were made in
respect of the UN General Assembly Meetings; in the absence of which the amounts
involved should be refunded by the officers concerned.
And so as the poor continue
to waste away and die under horrible circumstances, the
smoke and mirrors President and his minions see nothing,
hear nothing as they continue their massive looting
using all and whatever means necessary.
Always wash hands with soap and
safe water after using the toilet, before eating, and
after caring for a sick person.