Moyamba lauds China support to Ebola fight
February 2, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Community leaders in the Moyamba district have lauded the awesome support provided by the Chinese government since the start of the outbreak of deadly Ebola virus disease in May 2014, not least deploying a public health team to train community people.
Participants who attended a week-long intensive training organized by the Chinese on Ebola prevention and control told this medium that they appreciate the support of China, describing it as “second to none”.
They recalled that China was the first country the world over to respond to the cry of Sierra Leone when the Ebola virus broke out, and according to them, that did not come as a surprise because Beijing has always provided support to the country.
Councilor Abu Bakarr Mansaray of Ward 292 had this to say: “The Chinese have been very helpful to us, especially in the Ebola fight. We appreciate their support.”
With regards the training, Councilor Mansaray noted that it was timely and important because they were able to learn new things about the virus, especially the origin of the disease and the different types of the virus.
He promised to make good use of what they had been taught during the training by educating and sensitizing residents of his ward not to touch or wash dead bodies.
Also, Husainatu Sankoh shared the same view, but stressed that if the training would have been conducted during the early days of the outbreak, the virus would not have ravaged the entire country.
“The training is important, especially so when the disease is scaling down and people want to be complacent by touching and hugging each other. I was able to learn a lot from our trainers,” she said.
One of the trainers, Nurse Matilda Sandi from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, disclosed that a total of 432 community leaders from 24 wards in the district were provided with the necessary tools to prevent and control Ebola.
“I am very much happy because the participants accepted what we told them. They asked us relevant questions relating to the Ebola virus. I only hope that they will put into practice what they were taught,” she said.
According to her, participants were very much concerned about news about Ebola survivors, especially men who are infecting their spouses through sex.
Dr. Xu Jie, who led the training team in Moyamba, conceded the training may have come as a result of the virus now showing signs of burning itself out, but insisted it was prudent to eliminate the disease from the country once and for all.
He stated that they decided to prioritize the training for community leaders in some of the districts hardly hit by the virus in collaboration with the Health Ministry, and selected participants who can preach the message of prevention and control.
“Our training is ward based. We have trained over nearly 4,000 community leaders. We hope that the training will help to increase participants’ awareness and knowledge about the disease and how to prevent contracting the virus,” he said.