I studied Information Technology and graduated from Njala University College. Before the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, I was doing some private business as Data Processing Information Technology specialist. I was working with various companies and organization that required my professional services. To be precise I started working with 117 since the first “lockdown” (barricade) we had on the 19th, September, 2014. I underwent a training that was facilitated by LDTS group, and after the training I was chosen as a supervisor. But I later ignored the supervision position and became a dispatcher in practice; because the dispatch unit was under serious pressure and requires my assistance. This was the most difficult unite I worked with. It requires a lot of referrals and follow-up activities to ensure that the reported cases are adequately addressed. I was supposed to work on a single shift (7:00am – 2:00pm), but due to the countless number calls and frightening figures of confirm cases of Ebola that we were recording, I decided to work on a double shift without asking for any extra reward.
In as much as I was working with the dispatch unite, I learnt from Emelis Kanjah, (a foreigner from the United States) who was so compassionate to the crying of Sierra Leoneans and her willingness to help us motivated me as well go extra mile in this fight. In essence, one should learn to create a safe space for people that are in need of help – particular those that are vulnerable and destitute. I’ve got the inclination that any sacrifice made by a citizen is important to the development of his/her nation particularly in a crisis like this – regardless of being poor or rich.
The most powerful moment experience I had while working with 117 is that I’ve got wealth of trainings and experiences in data processing and management which have impacted my professional development as an IT person. Prior to this time I was basically focused on Hardware Maintenance. But with the creation of the callback unite, which specifically monitor the entire response process, be it burial team or surveillance team, to know if these unites are working accordingly. I’ve got a lot of skills since I was chosen to head this unite. My hope for the future is that by God’s Grace we’ll be able to achieve the 42 days of no confirm Ebola cases as soon as possible. Further I would like the government of Sierra Leone to maintain the 117 for other emergency cases to help vulnerable people (like pregnant women, girls that face abuses out there). These people are currently calling and reporting their cases, unfortunately we cannot do much as the Ebola is our focus.