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As Kailahun records 182 ebola widows…KWiGN Present position paper to Government

 

The Kailahun Women in Governance Network (KWiGN) during the celebration of the International Women’s Day presented their position paper to the Ministry of Social Welfare Eastern Regional Coordinator, Doris Mansaray, as the deadly ebola disease left the District with 182 widows before they were declared ebola free.

The celebration of IWD in Kailahun with the theme ‘make it happen for ebola survivors especially women’ was sponsored by Christian Aid, through their local partner Social Enterprise for Development Foundation (SEND) that work in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare

Kailahun District recorded the first positive ebola case in May 25th 2014 that led to the death of over 300 people before the District was declared ebola free nine months later.

Given the update about the effect of the deadly ebola disease in the District, Doris Mansaray disclosed that from their data as at present there are 1083 children that came from affected families as they have succeeded in reintegrated 153 of them to their families and relatives.

She disclosed that they are presently struggling to cater for 620 orphans who lost their parents and guardians through the deadly disease, adding that they have about 186 certified ebola survivors in the district who are presently suffering from eye sight problem, impaired ears, severe head ache, deformity among others ailments.

Speaking on behalf of KWiGN, the President of the Network, Madam Lucy Gondor, disclosed that when the disease entered the district the first confirmed case was a woman who was doing national service to the community people by then as Nurse, maintaining that women are vulnerable to the disease as they look after the home and the sick.

“As a women group, we have been doing our best in fighting for other women and children that were affected by the disease,” she states, explaining that at this moment they want to see more women in science, engineering and technology, recognition of women in sport, greater awareness of women equality, more women in senior leadership roles, and for increased financial independence for women.

“We want to see more women participating in chiefdom and local council governance, as leaders in the churches and mosques, as recognized leaders in their homes, recognition as human beings of value and who add value to life. We want to see them empowered, taking the lead in their own development. They should not be discriminated just because they are women. We also want to see government institutions and agencies becoming gender responsible by ensuring the education, health, local governance structures, political parties, water resources, business entities” she recalled.

Presenting their position paper, Councilor Theresa Garber, maintained they have resolved that the economic situation of EVD survivors need urgent attention by the government and development actors, as about 186 EVD survivors have developed other health complications that require practical actions to assist them to regain their health back, and that the EVD has brought numerous social challenges for survivors.

“Because of the nature of the EVD, schools were closed for almost a year, which means that education which is the weapon for the progress of men and women in the district is disrupted and require a significant amount of resources to be started again,” she said, explaining that they outlined four key points that they expect if address properly will be of immense help to EVD survivors and other women across the country.

Among the issue outlined in the position paper, government and development actors in the district must provide Livelihood interventions in support of survivors of the EVD who lost all their properties immediately they prove positive of the disease; government and development partners must pay attention to health complications developed by EVD survivors; address social problems affecting the EVD survivors as stigma, discrimination and shame continue to destroy their confidence and make it happen in education for women.

By Alhaji M. Kamara

Monday March 16, 2015

 

 

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