Ebola, a ‘man-made disaster’- Serra Leonean investigative journalists exposes “bloodstained” hands behind outbreak in new book

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From left to right: Baboucarr Ceesay, a Gambian journalist and Chernoh Alpha Bah.

An award-winning Serra Leonean journalist has accused Western conglomerates, scientists and Serra Leone’s “corrupt politicians” of complicity, if not deliberate attempt, to commit what turns out to be one of the most catastrophic scourges of 21st century, 2014 Ebola outbreak.

A politician and a journalist, Chernoh Alpha Bah, has written his book following an “interview with 3000 people” in various fields in Guinea, Serra Leone and Liberia where the biggest Ebola death had occurred questioning the Western narrative of the origin of the plague.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak has ravaged the three West African countries but with spill-over economic consequences left for the whole region to deal with after travel bans were imposed and tourists were scared to visit even unaffected countries like The Gambia.

In The Gambia, hotels were left empty because of the fears tourists have over the possibility of getting infected when they visit any country in the region and this has had terrible consequences on the country’s economy.

As of February this 2016, the laboratory-confirmed cases of Ebola stood at 15,251 while the death toll was at 11,316, making the outbreak the worst in history.

In the book titled “The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Corporate Gangsters, Multinationals and Rogue Politicians”, Chernoh refuted the dominant narrative that established that Ebola has originated from a bat in Guinea that was, apparently, transmitted to a Guinean boy who has came into contact with it.

“There was no clinical evidence to show that Ebola started in Guinea and that the so-call index case, the two year old Guinean boy, might have died of Ebola,” he argued at a press conference held at Timbooktoo Book store where the book is currently on sale at D520.

“So the question is why would a group of Western scientists present to us a narrative about the origin of Ebola that is completely false? And I believe based of the evidences that I have gathered through my research that that was not an error but rather part of the historical chain of events that predated the outbreak.

“I have found out during my investigation that there has been a presence of some of the leading western scientific institutions that were engaged in the development of a research mechanism that were funded by the United States Department of Defence and other western countries to study what they identified as… viruses that have the potential to develop bio-terrorist weapons.

“We strongly believe that if we are to locate the origin of Ebola and causes, we will have to look into what the western scientists were doing in these areas that they were stationed.”

The book also portrayed how the “repressive” political environment in Serra Leone and the “crumbling healthcare” system has aided the spread of the virus.

Bah is also an opposition politician which, arguably, dented his image as an objective analyst given the accusation of corruption and incompetence he has made against the government of President Bai Koroma.

However, media companies in his native country did reported allegation of corruption and “incompetence” with the way the millions of dollars of Ebola funds were managed and supposedly “squandered” by public servants.

Chernoh's book

Chernoh’s new book on Ebola

Bah equally accuses the World Health Organization of complicity as he did of the political institutions that were managing the affairs of his native country at the time of the outbreak.

He also recounted how containers of medical equipment him and his friend has shipped from US based on support they have received from humanitarian organizations were left at the port by the Serra Leonean government for over two months at the height of Ebola outbreak when basic facilities were lacking at medical centres.

Bah’s version of that episode was reported on New York Times in a story captioned “Ebola Help for Sierra Leone Is Nearby, but Delayed on the Docks” in October, 2014.

Bah urged an independent investigation into the questions he has raised and findings has made on the origin of Ebola in his book.

 

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