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EPA joins Health Ministry in Ebola fight

By Samuel Ben Turay

Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has expressed his institution’s commitment to work with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in the fight against the spread of the dreaded Ebola disease in the country.

Speaking during a courtesy call on the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Ms. Miatta Kargbo last Friday, Dr. Kolleh Bangura said they will fully work with the ministry to help curb the spread of the virus.

He reflected on the past outbreaks of diseases in the country like the avian influenza, cholera among others, which he said was not an easy period for the health ministry, thus reiterating his institution’s commitment to complement the ministry’s sensitization campaigns and health promotion in coastal areas and other parts of the country.

EPA’s Information, Education and Communications Consultant, Rachael Sesay, pledged on behalf of the agency to make available their expertise in meeting some of the key challenges to ensure that communities are educated and well sanitized.

In her response, Minister Kargbo described Ebola as a deadly viral disease that has posed a lot of challenges to the ministry and the government as a whole, hence the need for collaboration with key partners such as the EPA.

One of the major challenges she cited is behavioural change, which she said is currently impacting negatively on the sensitization strides of the ministry.

“I believe in team work and my ministry is open to you and to all other partners to achieve our goals,” said Ms. Kargbo.

The minister told the EPA team that it was an opportunity meeting with them, hoping that the partnership would help achieve her ministry’s desired goal.

Meanwhile, the minister requested for assistance in the area of contact-tracing of cases of victims from treatment centres, resources to beef-up sensitization in priority districts and other high risk potential districts.

She also spoke on the need for additional personal protective equipment, chlorine, motorbikes and mobile phones for surveillance officers and contact tracers.