REPORT ON THE THREE DAY NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN (HEALTH REPORTERS NETWORK-SL)

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COVENANT NEWSPAPER - HEALTH REPORTERS NETWORK-SL

REPORT ON THE THREE DAY NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN

Freetown, April 12, 2020 — Health Reporters Network – Sierra Leone (HRN-SL) congratulates the people of Sierra Leone for their tremendous compliance on the three-day lockdown across the country.

HRN-SL also thanked the Government of Sierra Leone, the Emergency Operations Center and Donor Partners for their continuous efforts in the fight against the Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic.

As a Network, we deployed our team across the country to observe the lockdown, with the goal of giving feedback to the public and the government to inform future responses to the pandemic.   

Below are our findings:

  • There were large numbers of people searching for water across Freetown during the course of the three days.
  • Transportation was not available for frontline health workers on the first day
  • There was visible poor level of coordination
  • Some security officers (police and military) put on uniform and moved around places where they were not assigned to.
  • Some security personnel on duty failed to practice social distancing. This was visible in their pickup trucks and posting.
  • Some people were beaten by security personnel for violating the lockdown
  • Some youths were seen in visible violation of the lockdown and they were in the streets drinking and smoking. An example was in Forth Street, Regent Village.
  • Government officials were difficult to get on television and radio programs to provide answers to the public.
  • Passes were given to many people who did not deserve it. They had no essential role to play to warrant them been in the street during the lockdown.
  • Patients left hospitals when they were not discharged by Doctors due to fear. This was seen in Port Loko Government Hospital and Connaught Hospital.   
  • Pharmacies were closed.

Recommendations

  • The government should endeavor to provide adequate water facilities, especially in Freetown, before any other lockdown.
  • There is need for proper coordination among the various players – health workers, the National Coronavirus Response Team, and psychosocial service providers.
  • The government should also ensure that adequate transportation is provided for frontline health workers.
  • The security apparatus must ensure the protection of human rights of the people at all times.
  • The National Coronavirus Response Team should make available officials and experts to provide information, where needed, during the course of the response efforts, especially during lockdowns.
  • Those responsible should make sure that passes are given to only people who provide essential service during the course of a lockdown.
  • It is important that pharmacies are opened during lockdown to provide services in the event of emergency situations.

About HRN-SL

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HRN-SL is a group of journalists drawn from across the media landscape of Sierra Leone – print and electronic – who report on health issues, with the goal of influencing quality service delivery. We strive to reach out to every community in the country with key health messages with the hope of positively changing lives.

HRN-SL’s vision is to ensure a disease free nation through effective and efficient health reporting.

Media Contact:

To learn more about the press release, please contact HRN-SL at info.hrnsl@gmail.com or phone at: +232 76 152 435, +232 76 282 413, +232 88 447 444.    

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