By Hassan Bruz, SLENA…..
It is a common pattern in life for People to give an idle interest on most of the things that are offered on free of charge basis even if those things do impact their lives. This is perhaps the origin of the popular African idiom which says – ‘the shade of a tree is not valued until when the tree is cut down’.
Either of the aforementioned is suggestive of the fact that People are fond of making light of important things even at the expense of one’s very life. There is a School of thought which entertains the belief that many African States are so much deteriorating with regards development due to such patterns of behaviour.
The Corresponding impact is most often, very much devastating in terms of lives and properties. This can be juxtaposed to the Coronavirus [COVID- 19] Pandemic which has devastated even the fortified Countries in the World. For those who are actual Victims or closely monitoring the situation, they are fervently praying for any means that would prevent them from the Varus.
It is in a bid to avert a total ruin to the World that certain Humanitarian Institutions deemed it fit to render a helping hand to the less developed Countries by providing COVID – 19 Vaccines. These Vaccines are so expensive that it would have been quite difficult for African Countries to procure them.
The West African State of Sierra Leone is a beneficiary to this gesture arguably due to the frantic efforts of President Bio and Government. The Pandemic is not very much destructive here even with the emergence of the 3rd Wave of the Varus largely because of the proactive measures adopted by Government such as – Distance keeping, Wearing of Facemasks, Washing of Hands and several other restrictions.
Interestingly enough, the Varus has continued to metamorphous into more and more dangerous Waves as there is currently a 4th Wave in the offing.
Following the realization that People are still not treating the Pandemic with the deserved seriousness and coupled with the fear that every effort to avert a catastrophe will remain in vain if People continue to be so recalcitrant in making proper use of the available facilities,
Government has declared a 10 Day Surge and subsequently dispersed Teams of Social Mobilizers across the Country to enhance Compliance with a special focus on COVID – 19 Vaccination. Each Region and District is now required to Vaccinate a certain number of People within this 10 Days Period.
For instance, the National Strategic Adviser for Social Mobilization on COVID 19 – Hon. Dr. Alpha Kanu is the Team Lead in the North West Region. His Team which comprised the Assistant Inspector General of Police – Madam Memuna, is required to help change the widely spread misconceptions on COVID 19 Vaccinations.
His task is seen to be much more challenging largely because he is deployed in Region where he hails and a place where most People are hesitant to take the COVID – 19 Vaccine. He has however had the first engagement with Frontline Workers in the District of Port Loko where a total of 25,000 People are expected to be vaccinated within the slated Days of Surge.
He briefed them on the mandate of his Team and demanded information on the prevailing situation on the ground with regards efforts so far done and challenges faced with in the COVID – 19 Vaccination Surge.
The deliberations were conducted at the Port Loko District Health Management Team [DHMT] Complex and were attended by Staff of DICOVERC.
The People in attendance were informed by Hon. Dr. Alpha Kanu that, his Team was there to help the District Medical Officer, District Health Management Team, DICOVERCE and the entire North West Region to sensitize People for them to see the need to be vaccinated.
He said the 1st and 2nd Waves of the Pandemic have been successfully overpowered while the spread of the 3rd. Wave is being greatly reduced. ‘But the Virus is now known of the potential to metamorphose to yet another Wave. So the Government would not want the emergence of a 4th Wave in the Country as it would like to see People on their normal lives’ activities. The best way to avoid been infected is for one to get vaccinated’ – Dr. Kanu emphasized.
He said even though the Vaccines are expensive and it would have been pretty difficult for most People to afford them if they were for sale, yet President Bio and Government have done remarkably well in ensuring that Vaccines are available on free of cost bases.
Hon. Dr. Alpha Kanu said the Government has resolved to flush out the 3rd Wave of the Pandemic by intensifying the Campaign for Vaccination SO That People would have time to go about their normal activities without further delay. He said it in that vein every Region and District has been apportioned to a particular number of People be vaccinated adding that Port Loko is required to do a total of 25,000 People within the stipulated 10 Days of Surge.
Expanding further on the issue, the Assistant Inspector General of Police – Madam Memuna observed that every effort is important in the fight against the Pandemic. She said the Sierra Leone Police is a component of the Frontline Workers with about 15 thousand Personnel who are equally at risk of being infected in the course of executing their lawful duties.
She spoke on the recent Press Release issued out by the Inspector General of Police and how it aims at ensuring that every Police Personnel gets Vaccinated without further delay. She expressed optimism that Police Officers will make use of the advantage by obtaining the Vaccination.
“The current Vaccines are a very expensive gift from advanced Countries Abroad. Besides we do not have highly equipped Health Institutions. Therefore it would be too devastating for the Country if People do not get vaccinated in case the situation grows bad. So let us all come together and make the good out the opportunity at hand”, Madam Memuna appealed.
Dr. Mahamoud Idriss Kamara is the District Medical Office in Port Loko. He welcomed Hon. Dr. Kanu and Team which he noted would not have come at a better time than now. He however informed the Gathering that even though modalities have long been put in place for People to get vaccinated, many are hesitant to go for it.
He said the situation is even worse with Stakeholders in the District, citing the Government Hospital in Port Loko City, where most of the Staff is refusing to get vaccinated. ‘These are frustrating challenges even with the Chiefs and other Local Authorities. I am therefore delighted now that your Team is here to complement our efforts’ – Dr. Kamara reiterated.
Several other Speakers including the Port Loko District Coordinator for DICOVERC – Hon. M.K Kanu, emphasized the need for People to cooperate as the 3rd Wave of the Varus is lethal.
Meanwhile the Team Lead – Hon. Dr. Kanu has admonished all to join the Social Mobilization Pillar to ensure that the prescribed target is reached on record time.