The Ebola Czar has blasted striking burial teams in Kenema as playing politics with Ebola. In a furious mood Palo Conteh condemned the act of bringing out dead bodies from the mortuary and laying them on the paths leading to the hospital as unacceptable. We cannot agree more.
While we sympathise with his (Palo) frustration of fighting against the odds to make things work; yet we disagree with the reference to politics to describe the behaviour of these workers. In our view the workers simply want to do something which would draw the required attention from the authorities over their plight, and what better way to do this than by doing something shocking. Whereas the act in itself is detestable yet it poses little or no risk to the people.
Czar Palo Conteh knows the real issue. He knows that the real is barefaced corruption and not politics. Palo knows that the problem is not with the striking workers but their bosses (Health authorities) who have found new ways of making money by inflating the number of workers and as such eating tens of millions of Ebola money including that of the striking workers. Palo must learn to come clean and blast the corrupt officials and stop blaming the poor workers, or attempting to deflect the issue and claim it is politics. That claim about politics can only bring in tribalism and regionalism in to the issue, which is not necessary at this time as it will only serve to shift the focus from where it should really be pointed.
On the other hand in our view the unnecessary fanfare attached to the discharging of Ebola survivors from the Hastings Treatment Centre is what can clearly be seen as politics at play in the Ebola fight.
After the first set of Ebola survivors had been ‘ceremoniously’ discharged from the treatment centre by the President, we see no reason why this sorry spectacle should be repeated every time a new set of survivors are discharged. Most importantly, when this negatively affects the lives of other Ebola patients by denying them the space (beds) in the treatment centre where their lives could be saved.
All the truly operational (not the fake Kerry town) treatment and holding centres are now full to the brim, with Ebola patients being kept at homes until spaces (beds) are available. This is crucial and critical, as waiting patients die during the three or four days that it takes for the “political” authorities to arrange their “political outdooring” of survivors and release the much needed beds which are always filled as soon as they are vacant.
Over 35 people have died at Hastings just waiting for the beds to be freed up, yet the political masters inhumanely refused to consider this as they are bent scoring political capital with their sorry spectacle at the expense of the lives of the very people they swore to take care off.
The effect is that patients who should have been discharged are kept occupying the much needed beds for three or four more days as the political big wigs formulate their charade by deciding which “idol” should come and “celebrate” while they parade the weak and still recovering survivors infront of the cameras.
This is done oblivious of the fact that every hour is crucial in the lives of other patients for whom that delay in minutes could cost them their lives. This for us is what is politics Mr Ebola Czar and dangerous politics at that, than the striking workers parading dead bodies to attract attention for their pay. Let us call things by their real names, it is the politicians who are playing politics with Ebola. That is where you must turn your guns Mr Ebola Czar if this fight against Ebola must be won. Those politicians ordering bodies to be taken from homes to funeral homes without the involvement of the burial teams are the ones breaking the law. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander. Lonta
Wednesday November 26, 2014