It appears the adage ‘too much of one thing is good for nothing ‘has taken centre stage in the Port Loko District.
In other words, when a particular thing is over mystified, there is the tendency for even the ordinary man to brave it in a bid to know the crux of it all. This is apparently the stage where the fight against the dreadful Ebola virus has reached.
It is about a 12-year old girl who died of bleeding in her native home of Roktorlor in Dibia, one of the distant chiefdoms in the Port Loko District. As the normal trend of things for now, she became a suspected case of Ebola.
One of the reasons Port Loko District Health Management Team, presented by the Port Loko District Health Management Team, which has now assumed the role of the Ebola Response Centre in the district, is that the late girl was a relative of an Ebola survivor.
A team of Surveillance Officers was immediately dispatched to the village with the aim of line-listing all contacts made by the late girl and have them quarantined.
The team was however prevented by the villagers from going ahead with the assigned task. Even though the villagers were not competent in medical procedures, they were however mindful of the fact that quarantine light can be better effected after the release of the swab results.
They doubted the motive behind what appeared to be the rush to have them quarantined.
As a matter of fact, they saw it as a deliberate move to deprive them of their right to free movement.
Their argument was further based on the premise that there has been too many unnecessary quarantining in that region.
The people of Roktorlor cited the case of Barmoi Luma in Kambia District where a good number of business people was recently released after spending their precious time in quarantine status.
The inhabitants of Roktorlor therefore became defiant and quickly mobilised themselves and chasedthe team of surveillance officers out of their locality.
The likelihood that members of that team would be skinned alive was so obvious thatthey were left with the only option of fleeing the village.
The speed at which they fled made the entire staff and workers of the nearby Health Centre to also follow suit.
Sources gathered by the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA) from that end said work was abandoned at once as everybody dashed into the bush for fear that they would become victims of circumstance.
At the time of posting this report, the villagers were still waiting for the swab result of that 12 year old girl.
Reports monitored by SLENA said plans are afoot to engage the local authorities and other key stakeholders for a workable solution.
But as they await the swab result, the people of Roktorlorponder the following questions: why were the health workers in a rush to quarantine villagers.
Does this mean that every other person who dies is a victim of Ebola?
If the answer is an absolute ‘no’, then does it therefore imply that the dozens of government and non-governmental organizations parading this region and by extension the rest of the country are genuine Ebola fighters?
Or is it that they are only trying to retain their jobs at the expense of the very survival and basic freedom of Sierra Leoneans who would by nowlike to live their normal lives?
Is it not baffling on the side of health officers -be it the Ministry of Health or the World Health Organisation to present a result purported to be Ebola positive if the source of such a claim remains unverified? Or has the virus become far less different from the one we knew upon the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone when the least contact of an infected person warranted the death of someone?
Is it not strange that a person purported to have died of Ebola could now be washed and buried without any adverse effect?
This seems to be the prevailing issue which is being challenged by the locals themselves. The villagers want the records to be put in their proper perspective this time so as to avert further embarrassment.