Lepers at the Suakoko Lepers Colony few yards from Phebe Hospital in Bong County are complaining of being neglected by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Government of Liberia.In an interview with this paper on Wednesday February 12, the lepers said since the colony was constructed by the late President William V. S. Tubman in 1955 there has been no renovation on the existing structures. The lepers told this reporter that most of the buildings are falling apart as the result of age. They stressed that they faced extreme difficulty during the raining season where they have to place buckets and dishes in the houses in order to stop the rain from soaking their straw beds.On the question of how they feed themselves, the lepers whispered that they have survived through the sale of potato greens and cassava leaf in order for them and their grand children to survive.“We used to eat two times daily with regular medical services during the reign of Presidents William V. S. Tubman, William R. Tolbert and Samuel K. Doe but everything has been cut off,” old lady Mamie Kpatawee emphasizedThe lepers, taking into account, what our correspondent saw, are living in deplorable conditions as they lack basic social amenities such as water, electricity, education and quality health care.Our correspondent said the only stream in the community is what the lepers use for drinking, bathing and cooking.The lepers thanked Mr. Eric Hanson, an American missionary, for constructing them three pit latrines in the colony and the Episcopal Church in Liberia for providing them foods, clothing and cooking utensils.They also extolled the Cuttington University Service Learning Program for constructing them additional two pit latrines with bathroom.The lepers also thanked Mr. Amara Zubah of the Phebe Hospital for providing them free medical services. “People from the families of those who have suffered with leprosy may have no impairment themselves, but their association with someone with the disease taints their life,” Mr. Zubah told this paper. Effective treatment has done a considerable amount to diminish the threat of leprosy and thus to reduce stigma; in the past, leprosy was viewed as a severely stigmatizing condition that progressively devalued and marginalized the affected persons. The disease, and the stigma and social exclusion that so often attach to it, persist in many places, particularly in Liberia, Mr. Zubah accentuated.“Indeed, leprosy has become a stereotype of a stigmatized condition; if someone talks of a person being like a leper; we know immediately that the person is being shunned and is being excluded in some way from society” the Medical practitioner concluded.The lepers explained that their children and grandchildren made farms for them for sustainability.It was observed by this paper that the lepers are using the cafeteria as school for the more than 150 school going siblings in the colony.This paper was also informed that there are more than 200 lepers currently living in the lepers’ colony.In a passionate appeal the lepers called on the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the international community and the government of Liberia to provide them with foods, clothing, hand pumps and medical services.They said the colony lacks hand pump thereby limiting them to rely on stream for drinking and bathing.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Sunday marked the 31st edition of the Blizzard and Phoenix trophies for the Blizzard Bike Club. Chris Haugan won in the men’s category with his time of 39:35, Dawit Feyissa won in the junior men’s grouping at 41:29, and Jessica Telizyn’s time of 1:04:37 was tops in the women’s race.The times for yesterday’s event are as follows:1. Chris Haugan 39:352. Kevin Shaw 40:053.Dawit Feyissa 41:264. Richard Wood 45:065. Pat Ferris 46:406. Davide Loro 46:547. Sam Keats 49:418. Josh Telizyn 51:099. Jessica Telizyn 1:04:3710. Dian Loro 1:12:36- Advertisement –
Lithuanian native Kadamovas, 40, of Sherman Oaks, showed no emotion during the sentencing. Russian native Mikhel, 41, of Encino, chose to watch the proceedings from a holding cell. Both were ringleaders of a gang that sought to amass a fortune by kidnapping four men and one woman – including three from the San Fernando Valley – and extorting $1.2 million from their families. The victims were lured to business meetings, where they were suffocated with plastic bags. Their bodies were then weighted and tossed from a bridge into the New Melones Reservoir near Yosemite National Park. The money went to buy expensive homes, mink coats for girlfriends and other luxuries. Kadamovas had told one henchman that he hoped they would collect $50 million and dump enough bodies until they “were stacked up on top of each other” in the reservoir. “Animals, animals, those are animals,” said Ruven Umansky, 73, an immigrant from the Ukraine whose son, Alex, was among the victims. “Justice was done,” he said. “If they would allow me, I would (execute them) myself.” In addition to Muscatel, 58, those killed were banking mogul George Safiev, 37, of Beverly Hills; Safiev’s accountant, Rita Pekler, 39, of West Hollywood; Nick Kharabadze, 29, of Woodland Hills, Safiev’s business partner in a fledgling movie production company; and Umansky, 35, of Sherman Oaks, owner of a car-stereo store. Asked for a few final words before sentencing, Kadamovas issued a long monologue, through an interpreter, about being unjustly tried. Mikhel refused to speak on his own behalf. Tevrizian refused to grant a request for a new trial from Kadamovas’ defense team. He also denied a request by Mikhel for a new penalty phase. Another defendant in the case, 34-year-old Ukrainian Petro Krylov, is now on trial. Three accomplices who pleaded guilty – including Kadamovas’ girlfriend, Natalya Solovyeva and Ainar Altmanis, a Latvian who led authorities to the reservoir – will be sentenced this summer. Evgenia Safiev, who lost her father in the ordeal, said there will be no justice. “Justice would be having our loved ones back,” said Safiev, 22, of Marina del Rey. “Members of our family can barely live, day to day, because of what they’ve done.” Roman Khayumov, Pekler’s husband, is left alone to care for their son, who has Down syndrome. “You take a life, you’ve got to pay with a life,” said Khayumov, 45, of Van Nuys. “The only thing (my son) knows is he doesn’t have a mother.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nancy Shapiro had always believed the death penalty barbaric – until her husband was strangled with a plastic bag and dumped into a cold mountain reservoir. So when a federal judge issued the ultimate penalty Monday to two men convicted in the brutal kidnap-for-cash scheme that resulted in the murders of five Los Angeles business people, she could only express relief. “These people are evil. They’re monsters. They deserve it,” said Shapiro, whose husband, Meyer Muscatel, became the first of the victims. “There are no winners in this.” Not a win for the mostly Russian immigrants killed in late 2001 and early 2002 despite promises to their loved ones that they’d be set free. Not for their families who, in addition to their loss, suffered through seven months of gruesome and mocking testimony in the presence of the killers. And not for the attorneys and jailers forced to put up with numerous hunger strikes, suicide and escape attempts by the defendants. More than two dozen relatives sat riveted as U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian issued rulings condemning Iouri Mikhel and Jurijus Kadamovas to death. “In this particular case there were five deaths – brutal, brutal, brutal deaths,” Tevrizian said. “These particular killers showed no mercy to their victims. I have never seen a case in court where the evidence was so compelling.”
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