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Black is the absence of colour Yet, when they see us, they see colour Why is something that is not, can be so much? Why is there so much hate, when love is never enough? Why does everyone hate black, a few times, even blacks? More so, they say, it is the absence of.
He was the absence of; when he begged please, I can’t breathe. He was the absence of; when so defenceless and cuffed. He was the absence of; on bloody tarmac from his nostril, flat on his face helpless in broad daylight. He was the absence of; when he called out, I need water, please or something. He was the absence of; when he cried out for his mama. He was the absence of; when two knees squeezed hard and sucked the life out of him.
When the full four, couldn’t resist the full force on the full floor. When the protector becomes the murderer. When the law becomes the perpetrator
He was the absence of; when injustice breeds resentment, frustration, and revolt. He was the absence of; when the wolf of slavery is wrapped in sheep fur, under the guise of freedom.
Four big white bears went straight home, a sigh of achievement for a day’s work; when a good job is done badly. The absence of one is still progress for the agenda Heads on their pillows, they smiled God must have loved us more; so, he made us white, he caused this divide, not us. Black is the absence of colour, but they see colour when they see us, we are not colourless. We will get rid of them a day at a time, all lives matter, except black. Turn off the light and it becomes the absence of; Yet, when they see us they see colour and now I can’t breathe because he can’t breathe.
US $38,000 (SLL 380M) RAISED TO HELP FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS PROVIDE ESSENTIAL PATIENT CARE IN 3 WEEKS
284 COVID-19 BEDS IN 7 HOSPITALS HAVE BENEFITED FROM VITAL EQUIPMENT, MEDICATION, AND HYGIENE SUPPLIES DELIVERED TO ISOLATION UNITS AND TREATMENT CENTERS RUN BY THE GOVERNMENT.
SIERRA LEONE’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM REMAINS WEAK. IT HAS A SHORTAGE OF APPROXIMATELY 32,000 DOCTORS, NURSES, AND MIDWIVES, WITH JUST 1.4 PER 10,000 POPULATION COMPARED TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL THRESHOLD OF 44.5. LIFE EXPECTANCY IS 51.3 YEARS AND UNDER 5 MORTALITY IS BETWEEN 120 AND 156 PER 1000 LIVE BIRTHS. IT ALSO HAS THE HIGHEST MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE IN THE WORLD.*
Freetown, Sierra Leone – An initiative set up just three weeks ago to support Sierra Leone’s frontline health workers in the fight against COVID-19 has delivered more than SLL185m worth of vital equipment, medication and hygiene supplies to hospitals and treatment centers.
The C19 Dignity Project, a 100% volunteer, and citizen-led community mobilization COVID-19 relief effort was set up by TV host and journalist Vickie Remoe in response to a Facebook post by doctors seeking urgent help for the isolation unit in Connaught Hospital.
Since then, she and her team have raised in excess of USD$38,000 and provided supplies to support 284 beds in COVID-19 Isolation Units and Treatment Centers at Connaught, Jui, 34 Military, and Lungi hospitals, Community Treatment Center at Fourah Bay College (FBC), for mild and moderate cases, and the Treatment Center at the Correctional Facility.
Prior to receiving medical supplies, these centers lacked the basics – machines to monitor blood oxygen levels, glucose, and blood pressure.
A lack of cleaning supplies for sanitization at a facility housing 150 patients increased tensions between frontline health workers and patients.
“You have really saved us,” said Major Patricia Briama, coordinator of the Government’s community treatment center at FBC. “We had not been able to clean the bathrooms for several days because we ran out of supplies.” She added that the long wait for supplies put female nurses on duty at risk. “There have been incidents of verbal and physical assault from irate patients frustrated with conditions at the center.”
This week, Remoe and the C19 team aim to deliver urgent equipment and medication supplies to treatment centers in the South and Eastern Provinces of Sierra Leone.
“All Sierra Leoneans deserve to be treated in facilities that are clean, and well equipped. And all of our front liners need to be able to work with the peace of mind that comes with
knowing they have all the tools and medication they need to save lives,” said Remoe. “Right now, they don’t have that.”
Lungi Government Hospital in Port Loko, which has a 20-bed COVID treatment center, received medication, hygiene supplies, medical equipment, and funds to repair the generator from the project.
Dr. Yillah, Medical Superintendent and Lungi Treatment Center Lead, said: “Our treatment center has received a lot of support from C19, including helping us restore electricity supply to the entire hospital. It has greatly reduced the burden on staff, helped us improve patient care and, along with the supply of essential drugs, will lead to better patient outcomes.”
Entirely financed by private and business donations, both online and in cash in Sierra Leone, the project provides isolation units and treatment centers with vital equipment, medication and hygiene supplies, much of which is not even available in other hospital wards.
All goods have so far been sourced locally from traders at reasonable prices, including pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, and glucose machines, and everything supplied is in direct response to urgent frontline needs, including medication.
“If a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient has an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension and they can’t provide their own medication, doctors cannot treat them. By giving doctors access to a stock of common medications, we enable them to do everything they can to treat those who are most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19,” Remoe continued.
One of the main principles behind the fundraiser was to provide full accountability. “We want to make sure everyone who has donated their hard-earned cash to the C19 Project knows exactly where it has gone,” said Remoe.
As a result, despite only operating for three weeks, the C19 Dignity Project has already published three statements of accounts detailing funds received, funds spent and what it was spent on, and the accumulative value of supplies delivered to hospitals and when.
In addition, the lead doctor at each isolation unit or treatment center is asked to check and sign for deliveries. Signed delivery notes are then sent to the Case Management Pillar leads within Sierra Leone’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to ensure efforts are not duplicated.
How to donate
Remoe initially set up the fundraiser expecting to bridge the gap until the EOC was up to full speed. But as COVID-19 spreads, the project has continued to receive requests for urgent support from doctors across the country who are still struggling to access supplies to treat confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients.
To donate visit vickieremoe.com/mission to view online donation options or send Orange money to +232 79 16 46 41.
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About the C19 Dignity Project
The C19 Dignity Project is a 100% volunteer and citizen-led relief effort mobilizing emergency medical supplies for frontline healthcare workers at COVID-19 treatment centers and isolation units. We fundraise to purchase medicine, medical tools, cleaning supplies, and food requested by doctors at facilities providing care to COVID patients. C19 Dignity Project Statement of Accounts 24 May 2020
All the contents of this article are the intellectual property of Vickieremoe’s blog. Dasalone-titi Rahima is just using her platform to help spread the message.
Sierra Leoneans, we only got ourselves at a time like this. By sponsoring a bed you are helping a brother, a sister, a family. Donate now to the C19 Dignity Project and help restore dignity in the lives of those in treatment centres. No amount is too small to help.
Another year and our Muslim brothers and sisters are celebrating Eid Mubarak after observing the month of Ramadan. One might think the COVID19 pandemonium will dampen their spirits to show up on our timelines. But no, the Sierra Leone in them won’t let COVID19 overshadowed their celebration, resilient people, right? They showed up and showed out in terms of Fashion. As per dasalonetiti tradition, we won’t let all these fashion statements slide by and go to waste. We decided to document them and bless your timelines with what we called the Eid Fashion Show Out. Bear in mind that modesty is the key for our Muslim boujee fashion statement makers. This year, we are served with a lot of Abayas and the few Kaftans. Enjoy, eat, drink and be merry in the comfort of your home and stay safe as you do so. Don’t forget to wash your hands, use your masks, maintain some distance, and stay home #asalamualaikum#covid19ishere#covidisreal#
A desert comes to mind, the beauty of mothers lay in wait. The waste of mortal coil that breathes the unending smell of weight. Sluggish thought of what was once there but only a sign of water. The vast land of grains of sand cluster together like a mortar. Death, the roughness of terrain is only brought to a kind. When struggles warmed up the ordinary eyes is, but blinded. Permanent shortage and occasional spring. Moisture and light inform us it’s time to build another threshing. The sprinters of Marathon, bringing forth the Sahara love grass, a purine. An average of over a hundred Fahrenheit, we are still not barren.
Life’s fruitfulness dried up completely erasing any trace of our existence. God’s greatest invention is made to store enough nourishment to survive the length of a lifelessness. Hope, that contradicts a world without end. Women are the rose of Jericho, the baby toes of Namibia. Adaptation, a freewill to protect ourselves from bloodthirsty callers. Not to be susceptible like the cauliflower, a mastery we unlearn as walers. We generate so much beauty in the midst of misogynistic ugliness. Cradle of civilization a prior dream of man’s world lustiness. Yet, reality has no significant bearing as we take each step. A footprint left for those after us, a clue of the struggles we outstep. Toughest of all species, symbol of fertility, of continuity, of tomorrow, that all is not mislaid.
As the tenere tree of Niger, the loneliness of the cosmos has not defined us. We represent the symbol of life in the middle of the disarray as we hold discourse. Our roots are tentatively buried deep into the netherworld. As we mine our source of spring, drawing from the lake of being curved. Sand torrent pushes us in every direction blinded. We hold on to the cactus that reminds us of how to flourish, bear fruits, multiply and spread out tentacles. Optimistic that the annual stranger of the wasteland. Will bring about a few dips of a downpour, reasonable to bring out the scent in our muscles. The strongest vessels ever made, our mothers’ daughters. Resilient with mystical super-powers, we are unapologetically who we are.
Cueing those who have relinquished hope; That beauty can be created anywhere, We are the Sahara desert flowers.
Called out Must you always blunder? Talked down upon Oh, You are so dumb Shouted at Echoes but little never excite him High pitched tone Your voice lost over the waves Drown in his ugliness leave your delicate words unspoken Judged of Nothing good will bear fruits from you Slapped Daily occurrence the hitting escalate Scrutiny of friends your family’s next Stalking, the shadow lurking in the dark Never good enough a feeling The smile becomes an indulgence She can afford no longer A bad girlfriend, wife, mother, daughter The trigger an enabler His words are razor-sharp cut through the flesh like a laser beam Jealousy a monster he nurtured His insecurities your burden to endure Throbbing nuclear explosion Influence a total assertion Eyes on your every action Dignity bear minimum Been pushed into a rigid nook Remember oh daughter of Zion You are scarred but never damaged Ignore the sword and near metals Hold the balance scale in the lady justice statue You are always the problem You are always the reason All is bad that ends badly
Get out Run now Never look back
If you are suffering silently from any form of SGBV, please speak up. You are not alone, seek help or make a report by dialling 116 on all networks in Sierra Leone 🇸🇱 .
Aaaah! aaaaah! aaaah! Her scream goes, But drown by even louder drums Flat on her back She struggles to break free From the clutches of tradition Hmmm! hmmm! hmmm! As the gag goes Stopping the scream Suffocating the life out of her Her feet wide apart Cling! cling! cling! Unsterilized metals celebrate The loudest of screams No one could hear her in silence Drip! drip! drip! Like rain, only her tear could flow Tick tock! tick tock! tick rock! Time to a standstill it came Eyes popping wideout, a gaze of terror As everything froze into a pillar of salt When life has lost its flavour Click! click! click! A sound left behind by echos As there goes her clitoris
She is left with nothing But pain and scar For her pleasure.
Amidu was a nine-year-old boy that lived with his parent at Downy Street, in Freetown. Like all nine-year-olds, Amidu liked to play outside his house, and because most of the houses in the area were clustered and not fenced, they mostly ended up playing on the streets. Downy street can sometimes be busy depending on the traffic on the highway. These boys will play whether it is busy or not.
On a normal day, you would see Amidu and his friends running around in groups. Sometimes in groups of five, other times there would be more, as other boys from the neighbouring streets would come and join in the games. They’d all have fun together.
They would dance under the rain during the rainy season and play street football, chase after cars, push and chase after old car tyres, or play local golf game with empty tins during the dry season. They enjoyed playing these games. Periodically, they would play hide and seek under the moonlight.
On several occasions, Amidu’s parents warned him about the dangers of playing out on the streets and how risky that could be. As cars and trucks plied these routes on a daily basis but being the kid he was, he never listened, especially since his parents were away most times. He would join his friends out on the streets and play after school. He knew the time his parents would be home. So whenever his parents were away, he would play for long hours; and shortly before his parents returned home, he would quickly wash up, get dressed, sit down quietly with his books – all the while acting as though never left the house.
One Saturday morning his father left for town and he was left alone with his mother. His mother told him to go indoors to study and finish up his school assignments for the weekend. She left for the backyard kitchen so she could fix lunch for the family before her husband returned from his half-day work. It was that moment that Amidu sneaked out of the house leaving his books on the dining table, to go join his friends. They were busy playing street football with no care in the world.
A cab driver who was coming down the street from the opposite direction noticed his brake had stopped working. He tried his best to manoeuvre the car but it became uncontrollable. The fact he was going down the hill just worsened his fears of a slippery slope, as the car picked up speed from that point. Amidu was busy playing and had his back to the cab driver – so much so that even the shouting of his friends to get out of the way was not heeded by him. By the time he noticed that something was wrong behind him, it was too late. The car knocked him down and hit a nearby pole as the engine came to a halt.
The outcry by the kids and neighbours was thunderous. Amidu’s mom was still cooking at the back of the house. She had no idea of what had just happened on their street. Suddenly, she heard the cries and ran outside. To her greatest shock, she found her beloved son, her only son, in a pool of his own blood. She tried to wake his lifeless body, as she shook him and started pushing and pulling on her son. Amidu was not breathing but she would not accept It. Her son would not die and leave her. It was not supposed to be this way. It should have been the other way round. Her Amidu should bury her, so no! She won’t accept it, her son could not be dead. Abruptly, she became still and looked paralysed. She was crying inside; you could see the tears flowing down her face but she was not giving out any sound. She was in a trance. She stayed in that position for a brief while when an on-looker noticed that something was not right with her. She was gasping for breath as she clutched her chest while, still, firmly holding her son. She had no plan to let go. Amidu’s mother was having a heart attack. Some onlookers ran towards her and held her back as they tried to get her grips off her dead son. She was reluctant to let go, as she stretched her hand towards her son. All of a sudden she went numb and slowly became heavy and cold.
Amidu’s father came and no sooner he grasped what had happened to his wife and son, he lost his mind. The taxi came a minute too late, Amidu and his mom were both dead. They were covered and taken to the mortuary leaving the pool of blood behind, as a reminder of what had happened to the people of Downy street that evening. The children never went out to play from that day; they lost their innocence ever since, their once blissful childhood gone up in smokes due to the events of that fateful day. Indeed, when the sun went down it never really did come up again on Downy street.