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Rokel residents say sensitization on Ebola not enough

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 By Matthew Jabby

Some residents of Rokel village, few kilometers outside Freetown, have said that they were not provided with enough information on the Ebola viral disease during the just concluded three-day ‘Ose-to-Ebola Ose Tok’.

Many who spoke to Concord Times on Tuesday said not much was done by teams deployed in their community to sensitise and inspire residents, contrary to claims by officials.

According to Mohamed Mansaray, some people went to his house and supplied one bar of soap and pasted an Ebola information poster on the front door without sensitizing his family on how to prevent contact with the disease.

“We were thinking that those that will be visiting households will perform a test on us to ascertain whether we have Ebola or not. No sensitization was done in my house. We only received soap and an Ebola paper was placed in front of the door when the team visited us,” he said.

According to him, those in the community are aware of the Ebola disease, but the required information on what to do to prevent themselves from contracting the disease was not provided during the lockdown.

Another resident, Mohamed Conteh, expressed similar concern and noted that those that went to their community were not medical people because they were never tested for Ebola.

“I can’t understand why proper sensitization was not done in the Rokel community, especially Limba Corner. We were very much eager for us to be sensitized adequately and tested for Ebola,” he said.

However, head of the Emergency Operations Center, Steven Gaojia and Health Ministry officials had made it abundantly clearly that the team of health workers and volunteers were not deployed to test suspected Ebola patients. Instead, they were out and about to sensitise communities and dispel myths about the virus, as well as encourage hand washing through the symbolic distribution of soap.