SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Action Aid International Sierra Leone has donated assorted items worth millions of Leones to the district health management teams in their operational areas, including Kambia and Bombali districts, north of the country.
The donation, according to residents of the two districts, was timely and significant because it will help ameliorate the suffering of victims of the deadly Ebola disease which is ravaging the lives of Sierra Leoneans, and that Action Aid is the first non-governmental organization to have made a donation to Kambia District since the start of the outbreak in late May.
The donated items include large quantities of chlorine, twenty-four buckets, raincoats and boots for health workers, twenty bags of rice and a chit for one thousand litres of fuel to facilitate the movement of health workers.
While handing over the assorted items to the District Medical Officer of Kambia District, Dr. Foday Sesay, Executive Director of Action Aid, Mohamed Sillah, said he was pleased to have embarked on such a venture, especially when his organization has been engaging people in that community for a very long time. He added that they are donating the items to residents in a bid to demonstrate their commitment and readiness to support developmental projects in deprived communities.
He said the donation was also part of Action Aid’s strategy to sensitize the people about the deadly Ebola virus and how they should protect themselves from contracting the disease. He said Ebola is real and is killing people in Sierra Leone and neighbouring countries, adding that Kambia District is in close proximity with Guinea and that communities should be well informed about Ebola so that they can take appropriate measures to protect themselves from contracting the disease.
“We want to complement government’s efforts in fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone. We need to adopt positive measures so that together we can fight Ebola. I am strongly in support of government’s three-day sit-at-home policy because with this I am sure people will be sensitized about the disease,” he said. “Action Aid will continue to support the process for the benefit of our people. People need to be informed appropriately and I am sure our intervention today will help health workers, including community members, in this fight.”
Sillah urged community members to give the necessary support to health workers in order to defeat the Ebola virus.
While receiving the items on behalf of the District Medical Team, Dr. Sesay thanked Action Aid for their humanitarian gesture, and added that even though the district has recorded only two Ebola cases, the team has embarked on contact tracing and screening to ensure that the disease is contained in the district and the country as a whole.
“We appreciate this donation and I want to commend the leadership of Action Aid International Sierra Leone for their continuous support to the health sector in this district. Indeed this is the first time we are getting such support from an organization like Action Aid. The donation will facilitate our work immensely,” he concluded.
In her statement, Mayor of Makeni, Madam Sunkarie Kamara said her council has been working closely with health officers, community leaders and youth in the fight against Ebola, noting that the social needs of the people should be supported.
“The youth have been very helpful in tracing Ebola patients and their families; in fact we have recently quarantined a village with the help of the youth,” said Mayor Kamara. “The donated items will immediately be distributed to the communities in need. I want to appeal to Action Aid to continue their support in taking care of the social needs of the people.”