Rebecca Johnson an Ebola survivor Nurse who was working at an Ebola treatment center told the audience at the BBC Africa Debate that the Government of Sierra Leone has failed to go by the initial agreement they had with the Government during the Ebola Crisis in the Country.
Rebecca stated that the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation promised to enroll them into the health system by making them permanent staffs in government health facilities.
She said the Government has failed to employ them as health practitioners by given them pin codes to serve as nurses and doctors at the health facilities.
She added that most of them volunteered themselves to work at the frontline of which they later became victim of the virus but fortunately survived.
Rebecca continued that life after Ebola has been very stressful for her and explained that due to the stigmatization she faced after her discharge from the treatment center she was asked by her land lord to vacate the house.
Rebecca admitted that she has been working with the government health facility before the crisis surfaces.
She added that they were facing series of constrains at the health facilities.
She stated that during her time at the health center before the Ebola, the Government only had two ambulances.
She added that they were asking the relatives of their patients to buy them gloves to treat their relatives.
She advised that survivors must abstain from casual sex as that is the way the virus can be easily transmitted through the semen. She said they were first told that it remains in the semen for 3 month and now it stays for 9 months.
Umaru Fofana, Sierra Leone BBC correspondent said the country is still in the danger zone if the ills of the nation the epidemic has exposed are not looked into carefully.
The BBC correspondent also advised that Sierra Leone needs to invest in education which he said will be a key way that will improve the health system in the country.
He added that the idea of taking back the duties of the National Ebola Response Center (NERC) to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) is not in place because it was due to the dysfunctional system of the MOHS that led to the formation of NERC during the crisis.
“Even a child knows how dysfunctional the health system in Sierra Leone is,” he said.
We have seen successful governments have been using communities successfully to propagate their political messages but failed to use those communities in the early days of the virus in country.
Umaru said he knows series of qualified nurses that are working for the government health facilities that are not in the pay roll.
He pointed out that there are children who became orphans due to the virus and the government promise that they will be given free education but the government has failed to meet those promises.
“Moving forward we have to be very honest with ourselves,” he stated
A student representative from FSSG during the debate states that the Ebola disease entirely changes the educational system in the country.
“We use to have 3 terms in the educational system of the country but due to the outbreak the terms were reduced to 2, ” she explained.
She pointed out that during the Ebola crisis, she observed that schools were closed but market were not closed and further states that the people were more vulnerable at the market than the school.
“The closure of schools led to teenage pregnancy and that paved the way of dropout in the country,” she said.
Samuel Kargbo the representative from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation said the Health ministry recruit staffs based on the budget they received from the consolidated fund through the Mnistry of Finance and Economic Development.
He added that there were ambulances before the epidemic disturbed the health system but that there were no batteries to keep the ambulance working.
On Wednesday 9th December 2015 the BBC world Service hosted the BBC Africa debate at Radison Blu in Freetown.
The debate was graced by people from all walks of life and was presented by Anne Soy and Tulip Wazuchdar from the BBC world service in London.
The topic of the debate was, “Has Ebola Changed Anything?”