In Sierra Leone Health Ministry takes Ebola prevention measures to SOS Children’s Village at Lumley
Freetown, April 9, 014 (SLENA) – Pupils, teachers and parents of the Save Our Souls (SOS) Children’s Village at Lumley in Freetown have been sensitized about the deadly Ebola disease by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation at a meeting held in the school hall at Lumley.
Making his sensitization message, the Disease Prevention and Control Communications Officer of the Ministry’s Directorate of Disease Prevention and Control, Mr. Harold Thomas told his audience that the Ebola disease has no cure but could be prevented.
He gave a historical sketch of the disease outbreak in Zaire, Congo, Sudan and Uganda, that claimed the lives of many people due to ignorance and the ill preparedness of an emergency response plan. The disease, Mr. Thomas added, is now in neighbouring Guinea and Liberia, and encouraged Sierra Leoneans to strictly go by the precautionary measures taken by the Ministry and the key messages that would help prevent one from contacting the disease.
Commenting on the cause, signs and symptoms of the disease, Mr. Thomas said the Ebola is spread through direct contact with wounds, body fluids like blood, saliva, vomits, stool and urine of an infected person or splashing of such fluids from an infected person to another person. Using skin piercing instruments that have been used by an infected person, direct physical handling of persons who have died of Ebola, eating dead animals especially monkeys, chimpanzees and bats, eating fruits that bats or wild animals have partly eaten, Mr. Thomas maintained can also cause the disease.
On the signs and symptoms, Mr. Thomas said Ebola usually starts with a sudden high fever and any one of the following: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Body Weakness, Headache, Sore Throat, Abdominal Pain and Skin Rash. The affected person, Mr. Thomas reiterated may also suffer from bleeding from any part of the body.
He advised that any suspected case should be reported to the nearest health facilities, adding that patients who have died due to Ebola are infectious, and that anyone who comes into direct contact with their bodies is at risk. Protective wear should be used, and handling limited.
The Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Jonathan Abass Kamara said government is committed to ensuring that necessary measures are put in place to avert an outbreak in Sierra Leone. Effective surveillance systems, Mr. Kamara affirmed has been put in place in all border crossing points and other strategic areas across the country, and District Health Management Teams have also mounted effective surveillance and sensitization awareness campaigns in their various districts.
Mr. Kamara advocated for the inclusion of the Ebola key messages on the prevention of the disease during the school’s daily assembly devotion service as well as to preach the message in their different communities. Government, Mr. Kamara said, has put a ban on the importation of corpses from Liberia and Guinea into Sierra Leone.
The Staff Nurse In-Charge, Francess Wilson, lauded the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for what she described as a move in the right direction in educating schools and communities about the disease, and pledged on behalf of SOS to include the Ebola prevention key messages as part of their daily assembly schedule.
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