The National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator in the Office of the Government Spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay has made an elaborate presentation on the strides and strategies government has been making in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease to a number of concern youth of the Portee Progressive Organization PPO Ataya Base situated along Bai Bureh Road, Portee.
Mr. Bayraytay succinctly explained about the number of measures government has applied in a bid to effectively deal with the virus pointing out that government has expended billions of Leones to enhance its strategies in the fight against the disease. He said the outbreak has cost the country huge loss socially physically and economically noting that in 2014 there was a projection of over 11% GDP growth making it the second fastest growing economy in the continent but with the outbreak of Ebola, the country’s economy has dropped to about 5 and 6%. He added that the country’s economic activities has been gravely affect by the outbreak and that agriculture that contributes about 46% of the economy of the country has been disrupted by the disease because most of the farm families are directly affected. Notwithstanding the sharp decline in the economic growth, he said Government has been able to pay its workers effectively before the end of every month ever since the virus hit the country, even though it has been spending huge amount of money on the fight against the virus. He further informed his audience that government has put strategic measures in place for the reopening of schools in March assuring the youth that government will pay fees for all pupils across the country, both in private and government schools. He added that thermometers will be distributed to all schools to ensure a routine check of the temperature of all pupils so that the sick ones will be immediately diagnosed and brought to the attention of the medics.
He informed his audience that President Koroma has been traversing the length and breadth of the country pursuing his campaign on the social mobilization drive and calling on Paramount Chiefs to encourage all of their subjects to be actively involved in the fight against the disease. He said the President’s tour to the nook and cranny of the country has helped tremendously to mobilizing support from the local people who further became vigilant in the fight against the Ebola scourge. He said as a result measures were put in place in all the Chiefdom by way of implementing by-laws to further guide and enhance the campaign against the Ebola Virus Disease.
Commenting on Government’s position on the Auditor General’s Report, Mr Bayraytay stated that Government is determined and willing to pursue all those that have misappropriated the Ebola fund and will ensure that they face the full force of the law once they are found guilty by a court of law. He said the President has earlier made a very strong statement against the misuse of Ebola fund saying that “ebola money is blood money.” He argued that that is a clear manifestation of the President’s determination to bring whoever is found guilty of misappropriating such funds to book.
The Deputy Chairman of PPO, Abdul Sesay applauded the National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator for his effort in educating his members and encouraged him to be visiting the base once on a while to discuss national issues. He said a good number of his members are enlightened graduates from reputable institutions across the country and responsible personalities from all works of life who are very much concerned with national development.
In his welcome statement, the Deputy Secretary General Bashiru Abdulai Bangura informed Mr. Bayraytay about the activities of the Organization noting that they have executed a lot of projects ranging from the award of scholarship to the donation of pure drinking water to quarantine homes, all geared towards complementing government's efforts in the fight against the disease. He said the organization intends to carry out more projects once the Ebola crisis is over.