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WHH intensifies Ebola education in coastal communities

WHH intensifies Ebola education in coastal communities

A German nongovernmental organization Deutsche Welthungerhilfe (DWHH) has successfully continued to organise training on Ebola education in major Towns and Villages along the Coastal Communities in the Western Rural Area where the Ebola virus is spreading daily.  (Photo: DEERF and WHH team with RECETOUR volunteers on field visit at Coastal communities where Ebola is spreading recently)

In line with RECTOUR activity plans for the coastal communities the team successfully organised a community based training through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the District Health Medical Team (DHMT).

The training was led by Mr. Gandi Kallonwhich focused on neighbourhood watch and quarantine process.

In his opening remarks, the trainer from the ministry of health stated that it was in the right direction that the project is organizing such training.

During the training, he said the task force group leaders should not personalized the mobile phones and other materials that were provided for the work but to share the telephone number and contact information with the Western Area District Health Medical Team, contact tracers, Disease Surveillance officers, the police, and also to call  117 when there is a suspect case in the communities.

The task force already formulated, should introduce themselves to the police and explain their activities while exchanging telephone numbers and arriving at a mutually agreeable method of collaborating.

The National Project Coordinator for welthungerhilfe Mafilah Kellie Marrah said the project for the intervention was implemented through a partner organization Responsible Community Tourism Organization (RECTOUR) which Liaise with contact tracers and the Neighborhood Watch.

They have also distributed  huge awareness raising materials in all the 22 villages like thermometers for temperature checks, megaphones, radios, solar lamps, hand washing materials, soap amongst others.

He added that there were 107participants in attendance for the training they also carried out familiarization visits around nearby communities including River number 2, Baw-Baw, Sussex, Lakka & Ogo Farm trying to inform communities’ heads about the formulation of village task force group around the Western Peninsular.

The RCETOUR volunteers he said were divided into groups for effective monitoring of the coastal communities.

The National Project Coordinator for welthungerhilfe Mafilah Kellie Marrah said the purpose was to go out in the communities and have a formidable task force group in all villages which was successfully done with a full list of Task force members by villages comprising of Headmen, Chancellors , youth leathers , religious leathers etc. etc.

Under the guidance of the community headmen, RECETOUR volunteers have been able to form task force group in 20 villages, making a total number of task force group members to 160 people.

Ebola training for RECETOUR volunteers and local stakeholders by WHH

Ebola training for RECETOUR volunteers and local stakeholders by WHH

The RECTOUR team he said will also continue the daily visit to these communities and to also submit daily visit report. Within the Framework of the project an Ebola Response System Strengthening was also done along Western Area Peninsula Coastline.

RECTOUR volunteers he said will also continue to do community visitation and report on any suspected cases around the coastline of beach communities.

The purpose was to go out in the communities and have a formidable task force group in all villages a full list of Task force members by villages comprising of Headmen, Chancellors, youth leathers, religious leaders have been compiled

He also said that we plan to replicate Social mobilization training at village level. Under the guidance of the community headmen, We have been able to  formed task force group in 20 villages, making a total number of task force group members to 160 people.

The volunteers of RECTOUR have split in two management teams with the task to visit each community on a daily bases to be updated on activities and developments .

WHH and partner organization RECTOUR provided 264 Ebola printed T- Shirts  to 21 Task force groups around the peninsular with 24 Banners with Awareness Raising information’s  for villages around western peninsular and seven new Thermo meters for temperature checks in addition to the 20 that was supplied earlier to the various villages.

RECTOUR volunteers are also doing a weekly radio programs around the peninsular Radio with panellists comprising of headman, task Force Group members and RECTOUR Volunteers.

Some of the challenges faced by the teams include Slow Respond from 117 inadequate hand washing materials, Information and Education Materials, deployments of national security system and Certification to households whom have completed 21 day quarantine.

WHH provides appreciable food supply for quarantine homes in coastal communities

 As the Ebola plague is having a devastating toll on people in major Towns and Villages along the Coastal Communities in the Western Area recently a German nongovernmental organisation Deutsche Welthungerhilfe (DWHH) e.V. has swiftly intervened by providing majority of the quarantine homes with considerable food supply.

The project for the intervention is through a partner organization RECTOUR (Responsible Community Tourism Organization) which was formed in 2012 as an alliance between the coastal communities with the objective to support local community tourism initiatives.

DFID Ebola Emergency Response Fund (DEERF) in partnership with Goal-NGO is also providing the funds for the implementation of the project through German Foreign Ministry and the German International Cooperation (GIZ).

The project is providing food supply for many people in quarantined homes whose current livelihoods are dependent on the food supply provided by the Deutsche NGO, Welthungerhilfe (DWHH) during the 21 days curse through a partner organization RECTOUR.

According to the National Project Coordinator for welthungerhilfe Mafilah Kellie Marrah “we are proving basic food supply to people in quarantine homes”

The Ebola situation in Tombo a bustling fishing Town is worrisome as a case of Ebola was reported were one Sgt Amadu visited Mr. Festus’s house situated around the football field.

It was reported that the Land Lord of the said house was on the run when his medical report shows that he was positive of Ebola.

He later died on the 1st of November 2014, Mabinty Kamara also died  in the same house on the 2nd November 2014Bai Kamara also died from the same house on the 3rdNovember 2014 and sadly Abie Kamara died in the same house on the 4th November 2014.

RECTOUR was informed that some neighbours close to quarantine homes are running away for fear of infection of the Ebola virus.

At John Obey two other girls from the house that was under quarantine have been seriously sick and suspected to be of Ebola. One of the small girls (Ya Marie) could not survive the time waiting on the surveillance team to evict them and she died in the village in the following hour. The burial team was contacted and the corpse was collected .The other victim have been collected by the national Ebola surveillance team.

 WHH through RECTOUR provided food and other materials for them for the final week to complete the 21 days quarantine rule.

RECTOUR provided food items to quarantine homes along coastal communities in Western Area

RECTOUR provided food items to quarantine homes along coastal communities in Western Area

Also at Ogoo Farm RECTOUR was informed by the headman of Ogoo Farm that cases have been registered in his community and that he wants immediate intervention for the house hold of the affected family not to mixed up with other community members. 

John Obey Head man- Hassan Marah, Handing over the food items to quarantine homes provided by WHH

John Obey Head man- Hassan Marah, Handing over the food items to quarantine homes provided by WHH

There were 8 household members during the 21 days quarantine RECTOUR with support from WHH provided food and other materials for the affected family in Ogoo farm village.

At Mambo village with support from WHH, one house was quarantine where one Aminata Turay died of Ebola. WHH provided food and other materials for one week and the house was also guided by the community Youth while waiting on the Central security system to be applied. RECTOUR also provided daily stipend to five guards for people not to flee.

Also at Tokeh following the second new case registered in to Tokeh Village, Welthungerhilfe and partner ERCTOUR swiftly acted in accordance with the request from the village headman by supporting the affected family with food and basic supplies to observe the quarantine.

People in quarantine homes told our reporter that the intervention by Welthungerhilfe and partner ERCTOUR is commendable as Government response is usually slow.

They expressed gratitude for the food supply as it includes all the necessary condiments for a normal daily meal of the average Sierra Leonean.

The project has also initiated consultations and monitoring of the Ebola Outbreak in the villages along the coast line in the Western Area Peninsula.

Quick intervention can contribute to an Ebola free coastline which is under pressure from the hotspots around Waterloo and Lumely/ Goderich and Tombo the National Project Coordinator for welthungerhilfe Mafilah Kellie Marrah asserted in an interview.

Saidu Bah

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