Senior officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) led by its Director, Dr. Kolleh Bangura, has expressed their organization’s commitment to partner with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in the fight against the spread of the Ebola viral disease in the country.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the Health and Sanitation Minister on Wednesday June 25 at her Youyi building office in Freetown, Dr. Bangura expressed their full commitment and support to the ministry with a view to ensuring that the Ebola outbreak is contained.
He recalled past outbreaks such as the Avian Influenza flu, SAS, cholera and other diseases which he noted have not been always easy for the health ministry in effecting preparedness and response to these diseases. He reiterated his organization’s commitment to collaborate with the health ministry’s sensitization campaigns and health promotion in coastal areas and other parts of the country.
Information, Education and Communication Consultant, Rachael Sesay and Information and Communication Officer, Fatmata Bakarr-Sesay pledged on behalf of the organization to provide their expertise in meeting some of the key challenges within their mandate to ensure communities are educated and well sensitized.
Health and Sanitation Minister, Miatta Kargbo, described Ebola as a deadly viral disease with a lot of challenges for the ministry and the government that needs collaboration with other key partners such as the EPA.
One of the major challenges, Madam Kargbo said, is behavioural change that is currently impacting negatively on the sensitization strides of the ministry in spite of the intensified campaigns in the media and communities.
She told the EPA team that it is an opportunity meeting with them, hoping that the collaboration would help achieve the ministry’s desired goal, noting that with all the efforts made some people are still negative to the clarion call for positive change of attitude towards precautionary measures.
The minister advocated for assistance in the area of contact tracing of cases of victims from treatment centres shielded by family members, resources to beef up sensitization in priority districts and other high risk potential districts.
She spoke on the need for additional personal protective equipment, chlorine, motorbikes and mobile phones for surveillance officers and contact tracers.
The minister appealed to the entire nation to take the outbreak serious and to adhere to precautionary measures that would help the ministry, partners and government to contain the disease.
UPDATE ON EBOLA FOR EARLY HOURS OF 26TH JUNE 2014
- 338 cases tested as of March 2014 to June 25th 2014
- 179 confirmed positive cases for Ebola
- 49 confirmed deaths for Ebola
- 18 survivors, treated and discharged from the Kenema Government Hospital