NATION

I’m Ebola Free: Gasaukula

Inspector Josevata Gasaukula, of the Fiji Police Force, who has just returned from a 13- month stint in Liberia, yesterday said he was Ebola free. “I’m Ebola-free,” Inspector   Gasaukula said.
05 Dec 2014 08:20
I’m Ebola Free:  Gasaukula
Police Inspector Josevata Gasaukula ( sitting third from left), with his wife Siteri Gasaukula (sitting first from left), daughter Roela Gasaukaula (standing second from left), and his grandchildren at their home in Kinoya, Suva, yesterday. Photo: Rama

Inspector Josevata Gasaukula, of the Fiji Police Force, who has just returned from a 13- month stint in Liberia, yesterday said he was Ebola free.

“I’m Ebola-free,” Inspector   Gasaukula said.

Speaking at his residence at Kaudamu Place, in Kinoya yesterday, he said he was quarantined for 21 days in Liberia together with his Police mate, Jayanti Kumar.

“We went through many tests and at the end of the 21 days we were declared Ebola-free,” he said.

Before their release, he said they had another final check and a Liberian doctor gave them the Ebola clearance paper.

“Our last check was made just before we boarded the plane on our way back home and again we were cleared.”

As we touched down in Nadi, he said they went through another check before heading for their homes.

“Right now we’re still under quarantine in our own homes for another 21 days.”

He had to take his own temperature two times and day and record it in a sheet provided by the Ministry of Health.

He said the first outbreak of Ebola in Liberia was in March and was contained.

The next, he said, was in July and it came from Guinea on the other side of the border with Liberia.

He said before they left Liberia, there were 7168 cases and 3016 deaths.

This report he said was from the World Health Organization (WHO).

For the 27 Police officers working in Liberia under the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), 13 were based at Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. The others were posted to other districts.

Inspector  Gasaukula was posted to be an advisor to the Liberia Police Special Branch.

He said since it was his second posting to Liberia, it was easier for him to carry out his duty.

When asked to comment on the Liberia National Police (LNP) he said overall regular LNP officers remained poorly equipped, ineffective, and slow to respond to criminal activity.

The foot patrol programme though continued to show improvement in strategic areas, he said.

The Police, he said, had limited transportation, logistics, communication, and forensic capabilities.

They did not have the capacity to investigate adequately many crimes, including murders, he added.

“In the department I was attached to, we have no vehicle.”

He said they had just a small table to hold their meetings with no air conditioning, chairs and computers.

“They don’t use computers as they just write their reports.”

Inspector Gasaukula said out of the 44 nations working in Liberia, the locals enjoyed and praised the work of the Fijian police.

“They are very close to us as we help them in many ways.”

He said in their farewell, the locals shed tears and asked them to return one day.

As for the food, he said Liberia was just like Fiji and the only thing they missed was their grog when grog shipment was stopped because of Ebola.

In all, he said, he enjoyed his work in Liberia and at all times remained faithful to keep Fiji’s name on top.

They pay was good, he said and he was glad to be back home in time to spend Christmas and New Year with his family.

He thanked the Commissioner of Police and senior officers of the Fiji Police Force for having faith in him to work in Liberia for 13 months.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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