OCTOBER 8, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
As the Ebola epidemic continues to ravage the country and killing in its wake over 600 Sierra Leoneans, the United States Embassy in Freetown has provided the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to Democracy Sierra Leone (DSL) to embark on a massive sensitization and education on the disease.
DSL National Coordinator, Alhaji Mohamed Warisay, who made the disclosure to Concord Times yesterday, stated that the sensitization program will target five districts, namely Moyamba, Tonkolili, Bombali, Port Loko and the Western Area, with monitoring coming from officials of the U.S. Embassy.
He explained that as part of the project, his organization will train some 100 young people in the five districts on the dos and don’ts of the Ebola virus disease, who will in turn go into the remote villages/communities to pass on the Ebola message.
He said they will also work with 150 traditional and religious leaders in the various districts to enhance their trust and confidence in the fight against the deadly disease, thus breaking the myth around their perception and beliefs.
“We will go to 30 villages and communities in each of these districts within the next three months to take Ebola messages to our ill-informed people,” said Mr. Warisay. “We will also engage the media in a sustained manner through the radio, TV, and newspapers, as well as provide other IEC materials to educate at least 1,500,000 persons in the country on how to prevent Ebola and protect themselves so as to break the chain of transmission.”
According to the DSL national coordinator, in a bid to ensure transparency in the fight against the scourge, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans, civil society members and the media will be invited to help monitor the project’s activities.
“Our doors shall be open to these groups at any time to come and ask questions pertaining to the implementation of the project,” he said.