NOVEMBER 19, 2014 By Francis Ndanema
Forut Sierra Leone, with support from their counterparts in Norway, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, has donated food and non-food items to eight quarantined households in Fulawahun and Moborbor villages, Yeinkessa section, Bumpehun chiefdom, Moyamba district.
Some residents of Fulawahun village have been placed under quarantine following the death of a pregnant woman who had tested positive for Ebola, while those in Moborbor were put in isolation after at least two residents were confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus.
The donated items include rice, fish, oil, milk, Overtine cocoa powder, onions, salt, Veronica buckets, laundering and bathing soap, pens, books, among several others.
While presenting the items, Programme Officer Abu Bakarr Kamara empathized with people who have lost loved ones to the virus. He consoled them to take heart and encouraged them to adhere to preventive measures sanctioned by health authorities.
Kamara said the donation was to provide fortitude to those that have been quarantined, and to encourage them to isolate themselves from community members in order to prevent new infections.
He said the Veronica bucket and soap are meant for hand washing and laundering. He dismissed rumours that food provided to quarantined homes was contaminated with the Ebola virus. He appealed against discrimination and stigmatization of those who have completed the mandatory period of twenty-one days of quarantine without showing any signs and symptoms of the virus, or survivors – heroes and heroines of the outbreak.
Programme volunteer, Maybel Massaquoi, informed beneficiaries that books, pens and other learning materials should be used by children during lessons broadcast on radio. She implored parents to take the radio teaching with every seriousness as schools might not reopen soon.
She also admonished residents to avoid body contact, wash their hands regularly, and to adhere to measures prescribed by health workers.
In her statement, nurse-in-charge of Fulawahun health post, Francess Yeima Brainard, said the donation was timely. She said the outbreak had brought panic to everyone in the village, although they have overcome the panic after thorough sensitization from the health ministry and non-state actors like Forut.
She pleaded with the beneficiaries to put to good use the donated items, and emphasized that the food was meant exclusively for those that have been quarantined.
Town chief of Fulawahun, Mustapha Koroma and a beneficiary from Moborbor village, Hilton Kanu, thanked Forut for their priceless humanitarian assistance in a dire situation. Both revealed that the Norwegian non-government organsiation has always stood by them in both good and difficult times.
Meanwhile, Country Director, Boi Neneh Jalloh, reaffirmed her organization’s commitment to working with people in their operational areas in Sierra Leone, to transform the lives of vulnerable people, especially children.