‘Poor’ Ebola Response Angers Rock Spring Valley Residents

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Twenty nine-year-old Frederick Nyanti of Rock Spring Valley, on Capitol By-Pass died on Tuesday, September 10 at 5 p.m., according to a resident who requested his name not to be disclosed.

But it was on Thursday, September 12, he said, after angry residents blocked the Benson and By-Pass junction that brought police and medical officers to the scene.

“When Frederick died on Tuesday evening,” the witness said, “I called the Ebola Response Unit for more than 10 times.”

He told the Daily Observer that at each time he called, “an attendant would tell me that response was on its way.”

 Meanwhile, the body of the deceased, he said was locked up in one of the rooms in the family house, which sat overlooking the Du River.

“We did not know what killed Frederick,” he said, “and that was why I followed the government’s instructions.” But the instruction to call telephone number 4455 produced only frustration, day after day, he said.

“For the fear of the Ebola,” he told the Daily Observer, “we could no longer sleep in the house.” As a result, the family, including an older woman in her late 70s, waited for the Ebola Response Unit to appear and remove the body to determine the cause of death.

“For two days,” he added, “we called and they said they were coming but did not.”

Neighbors in the area told the Daily Observer that they are afraid of what to do, after the body was removed and the house sprayed by health workers.

 “We live here with each other,” a police officer said, “we don’t know what immediate steps to take now.”     

He said he was worried that as people from the deceased’s house move back and forth, without any knowledge of what might have caused their relative’s death, “we can only wait and see.”

Another resident said, “Frederick, who was already sick elsewhere came to our community where his family lives.

“So, if his death was due to the Ebola, then it means that health officials need to know where he lived before coming to Rock Valley.”

Young residents in the community said the roadblock was meant to draw the attention of the government and particularly the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to get the remains of Frederick Nyanti from Rock Spring Valley.

Police spokesman Sam Collins could not confirm report of the arrest of several residents during police operations Thursday, September 11.

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