Ebola Survivors to be Recognized as Heroes

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The government of Sierra Leone is taking steps to recognize all Ebola survivors as Special Heroes.

As a first step towards that end, President Koroma has directed that all Ebola survivors be registered in all district headquarter towns and provincial cities across the country.

Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Alhaji Moijueh Kaikai disclosed this (on Saturday 8th November, 2014) when he officially launched the Ebola Survivor Registration in Makeni City, northern Sierra Leone.

The registration aims at collating all particulars and data of survivors in order to create Special platform that would benefit them in the near future by avoiding “malpractices and discrepancies” for victims of the Ebola scourges.

In his Keynote address, Alhaji Kaikai underscored President Koroma’s determination to ensure that those who have survived from the deadly Ebola disease be seen as special heroes that need recognition in society.

He said that government was working hard to ensure that the Ebola disease became a thing of the past, adding:  “The president always has all the survivors at heart and holds them in high esteem; through the process of registration, survivors would have nothing to lose.” 

“My ministry has been given the mandate to register all children orphaned by the scourge, survivors and other victims in order to mitigate their stress,” the minister assured.  

He said they would ensure through the registration process that all affected persons benefited as they were targeting the right victims with no manipulation. 

“Our message of reassurance to you all is that this government loves you and has no discrimination against you.”

He therefore, advised them to trust in the government and always consider God as their saviour, especially during this trying times, adding: “it was God’s wonder that children survived the Ebola scourge, especially when most adults have succumbed.”

In furtherance of his promise, the minister said the Social welfare ministry would institute accountability and transparency platform for access to information on their welfare and to ensure that the victims benefitted from the opportunities.

“It will not be the case like after the ten-year rebel war when many people metamorphosed into war victims, thereby depriving the right beneficiaries.”

“Many organizations and partners are ready to help the Sierra Leone Government to improve on the status of the Ebola victims so we will not let their assistance fall in the wrong hands.”

The Director of Gender Affairs, Charles Vandi said at least 121 survivors have so far been registered in the Bombali District as they were targeting every district.

On his part, the Director of Social Welfare, Francis Kabia, said they were not going to allow people to manipulate the survivors’ benefits and that the Ministry had put robust plans in place to improve on accountability.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Joseph Kanu said the registration process was going to be held serially across the country because ministry staff members were in every district to monitor the situation on the ground on Ebola, especially on the status of affected children and women.

The Acting Chief of Social Services, Mr. Joseph Sinnah, his ministry was doing everything possible to support the orphans and the survivors.

He said prior to the outbreak of the Ebola they had been able to deploy staff in many parts of the country and that ministry staff were working robustly at district and community levels to manage the welfare of marginalized groups, including Ebola orphans, survivors and other victims.

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