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Sierra Leone News: Book launch… “Understanding West Africa’s Ebola Epidemic”

A new book, authored by two erudite Sierra Leonean professors, Ibrahim Abdullah and Ismail Rashid, called, “Understanding West Africa’s Ebola Epidemic,” was launched on Thursday 7 December 2017, Andrew Keili at the Stadium Hostel Hall in Freetown.
The book was carefully divided into four parts providing a detailed account of the regional history and origins of Ebola, the Neoliberal affliction on different countries, similar convulsions, development, gender and its discontents and the transnational actors and the politics of crisis response.
An abstract from the book indicated, “Between 2013 and 2016, the inhabitants of the three Mano River Union (MRU) countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, relived a familiar nightmare.” It went on, “Like in the early 1990s, they were gripped with a pervasive sense of fear, insecurity, uncertainty as they confronted a wily, ruthless, and seemingly unstoppable enemy.”
The writers pointed out that the enemy was known to be scientifically identified in March 2014 through samples sent to European laboratories by the Guinean government as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). They said previously EVD was known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, a zoonosis disease caused by the spread of the Zaire ebola virus from wild animals to human, and then transmitted from person to person.
At the launch, Chair Julius Spencer was hopeful that policy makers will buy and read the book so that they will learn from what went wrong and how it can be fixed before another outbreak. He said the country is presently suffering in the hands of mediocre governance who absolutely cannot in anyway simply think in the interest of the people and country.
He said the present education system is nothing to write home about with semi-literate people in positions of trust and students going through schools with high grades without knowing how to read or write a simple sentence.
The book is available for sale at Le175,000 at Premier Media along Circular Road, Awoko newspaper office on Percival Street and the Sierra Leone Book Shop. According to the authors, proceeds from sale of the book will go a young man, Daniel, a second year student at the college of Medicine who lost his family to Ebola.
Professor Rashid said the book is one of a series of ventures providing information and education to the country as academics. Professor Abdullah said many tend to think development is all about buildings and roads that no countries in the world develops on the bases of economic development without addressing issues of culture, history, thinking, education etc. He called on policy makers to make sure the country is prepared for other emergencies.
By Mohamed Kabba
Twitter: @chikakabba
Monday December 11, 2017.

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