The deadly flu virus sweeping across Western Africa has reportedly claimed the lives of teachers in at least two areas of Sierra Leone, a country in the eye of the outbreak.
The Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union (SLTU), Education International’s (EI) national affiliate, has disclosed that 18 teachers have died since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country.
“The union has so far recorded some 17 deaths occurred in Kailahun and one in the Kenema Districts, according to official medical reports,” said SLTU Senior Assistant Secretary, Augustine G. Karim.
On behalf of SLTU, he extended heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.
Karim also considered it possible that there would be other unreported deaths of teachers in some parts of the country, describing the deceased as “fallen heroes,” which the SLTU would continue to remember.
“SLTU has been fully involved in the fight against the Ebola epidemic since the virus broke out in the country,” he added. “The union recently donated twenty five million leones (ca. 4,300 euros) to show its commitment in the fight against the Ebola virus and as a way of complementing the governmental efforts.”
SLTU has expressed deep concern about the abrupt halt of all academic activities in the country and everything possible must be made to contain this unfortunate menace in our country, Karim went on to stress.
Karim went further to commend the efforts of the government and development partners in the current Ebola fight in the country, and assuring that SLTU would continue to collaborate with government in order to contain if not eradicate the Ebola plague in the country.
“We present our sincere condolences to the families of teachers victims of Ebola and, like our Sierra Leone affiliate, call on the Government to support SLTU in this national fight. We also welcome the fact that SLTU, with the support from the government and other stakeholders, will soon begin a strong awareness raising tour throughout the country, with teachers leading the campaign.”
The outbreak has recently forced Education International to move and postpone events planned for the region, namely the Africa Regional Conference and Unite culmination event in Nairobi, Kenya and the Higher Education Conference in Accra, Ghana.