NOVEMBER 11, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Methodist Church Sierra Leone (MCSL), with support from Christian Aid, distributed food and non-food items to fifty quarantined homes in Kailahun district, as well as donated chlorine and protective gloves to the District Health Management Team (DHMT).
During the distribution exercise, each household received 50kg bag of rice, half bag sugar, 10 packets salt, one tin milk, a packet of tea leaves, 50 tins of sardine, half bag onions, 5 gallons of cooking oil, a packet of Maggie, and 12 pieces of bathing soap and laundry soap each.
According to MCSL’s acting Development Secretary, Francis Kakpindi Musa, prior to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the country, they had been implementing health intervention projects, including the Health Governance Project, in Kailahun, which is being funded by Christian Aid, with the aim of improving health facilities in Nixon Memorial and Kailahun Government hospitals.
Musa explained that after the outbreak of the disease, their funding partner (Christian Aid) encouraged them to transform their operations into Ebola related activity, starting with the training of community volunteers to educate communities about the Ebola virus and how it can be prevented.
“Christian Aid made provisions for a total of 80 quarantined homes in the district to be supplied with food, but in collaboration with the District Health Management Team (DHMT), we were only able to distribute to 50 homes as others had completed their quarantined period,” he said.
Also, District Medical Officer, Dr. James Squire, stated that the process of quarantining people would only be successful when there is adequate supply of food, because according to him, it is unacceptable to restrict the movement of people for twenty-one days without giving them food.
“The success story from Kailahun in relation to the reduction of Ebola cases lies behind food sufficiency. We have been receiving food items from various organizations, including Christian Aid, through their local partner MCSL,” Dr. Squire said.
He maintained that they have been able to manage quarantined homes in the district without any outcry because of the availability of sufficient food.
On her part, President of the Kailahun Women in Governance Network (KWiGN), Lucy Gondor, added that the distribution of the food items was successful because of structures put in place by the DHMT.
She revealed that members of the DHMT had informed them that some hitherto quarantined homes had completed their mandatory period before the arrival of the items, hence the items was shared among those still being quarantined.