The former Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Alhaji Moijue KaiKai has described today’s demonstration by Ebola survivors at State House as “unnecessary”.
The Ebola survivors led by their executive this morning converged in front of State House to demonstrate over what they described as “unfulfilled promises” by government towards their welfare.
According to their Public Relations Officer, Daddy Hassan Kamara, President Koroma wasn’t aware that the comprehensive package promised them in the form of free medical care, food items, educational scholarships and other benefits have not been reaching them.
He said President Ernest Bai Koroma has promised to set up a special committee under his own supervision to investigate and immediately address the matter.
In a conversation with Platinum Media, Alhaji Moijue Kaikai however maintained that there is no survivor with a genuine certificate that hasn’t received a package from government. He said all survivors have benefited from what he described as Survival and Integration package comprised of food and non- food items.
He said between Le250,000 to Le300,000 was provided to every survivor upon their discharge from treatment centres across the country,
adding that survivors have also received cash from other NGOs as extra packages. He also said the government had set aside the sum of Le1.9 billion as livelihood support towards enhancing their livelihood skills and another additional Le1.1 billion is also in the coffers of UNICEF for this initiative. These monies, according to Alhaji Moijue Kaikai were part of the remaining Ebola funds that were re-directed to address livelihood support for Ebola victims as this was initially not included in the National Ebola Recovery plan.
“Their leadership is very much aware of this….but it appears as if they want the money in cash and government didn’t see the rationale to do so because of the obvious emergence of a dependency culture…” the former Minister explained.
However, in the course of our investigation, we discovered that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation have failed to champion or harmonize the free health care package previously pronounced by the President for all Ebola survivors, causing them to fail to appreciate the government in this direction.
We have also discovered that most survivors lacked the requisite academic qualifications to benefit from government’s educational scholarships but whether this opportunity can be accorded their dependants remains unclear.