The protest was staged over the non-payment of four billion Leones welfare package and other unfulfilled promises made by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs under the leadership of the sacked Minister, Alhaji Moijue Kaikai.
The National Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Ebola Survivors Association, Mustapha Kallon revealed that the cardinal objective of their protest was to inform President Ernest Bai Koroma and his government that the former Minister of Social Welfare , Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijue Kaikai and his Deputy, Mustapha Bai Atilla calculatingly refused to distribute the four billion Leones that was set aside by the ministry as a welfare package for Ebola survivors.
He disclosed that Ebola survivors have no access to medical care in government hospitals across the country. Mr. Kallon went on to state that that if one is cognisance of the hell they went through in the vicious circle of the Ebola Virus Disease, contrary to assurances earlier given to them by officials of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs for all Ebola survivors to have access to free medical care in state sponsored hospitals and health centres, they will be tempted to describe the act as betrayal.
“Whenever Ebola survivors report sick cases to various state owned hospitals or health centres, the nurses and doctors would only give us paracetamol tablets and would ask us to leave” Kallon asserted.
Furthermore, the peaceful protest action of the Ebola survivors captured President Ernest Bai Koroma’s mind eye and sense of magnanimity, thus instructing his driver to slow down for him to read through various inscriptions written on the placards that were displayed by the protesters.
The president immediately responded by calling five representatives of the protesters with him including the designated Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden and heads of various departments at the ministry.