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Airtel sponsors First Lady’s Ebola Response

Airtel sponsors First Lady’s Ebola Response

Airtel on Friday 22nd August sponsored the First Lady’s Ebola’s response using the reproductive and gender lens.

The advocacy initiative taken by the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Sia Nyama Koroma is aimed at reducing the spread of the Ebola virus in the country.

The advocacy initiative which targets Members of Parliament, religious leaders, traditional healers, market women, traditional birth attendants, Sowies, okada riders, motor drivers, nurses, doctors, hairdressers, and barbers, will raise Sierra Leone from the ashes of the deadly Ebola virus disease.

Chairman of the program was Mr. Raymond D’Souza George in his opening statement said that since Ebola came into our country May 2014, Her Excellency has created key information for the benefit of all.

Mr. Abubakarr Koroma representing the National Aids Secretariat said that the virus was first discovered in 1976 in DR Congo. Over 800 people have died so far in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

UN Women Representative, Mary Okumu, said more women are dying because of the role they are playing, therefore, “we need more strategies to save their lives”.

UNFPA Country Representative, Dr Bannet Ndyanabangi said the disease has discouraged women from going to the hospital for antenatal, postnatal and family planning services.

Managing Director of Airtel, Sudiptu Chowdhury, said in his statement that this is one of the biggest challenges Sierra Leone has had and so we must all put hands together and fight it out. Mr. Chowdhury said that he is thinking of doing something for the widows and mothers who have lost their children through this Ebola.

In her keynote address, First lady Madam Sia Koroma said that her drive is to abolish Ebola in the nation.

Madam Koroma noted that women, as primary care-givers in the family, and in fulfillment of their matrimonial obligations, have also been infected by the virus through their spouses or partners and in some cases by their children, close family members and friends.

She said that the Ebola virus has had a devastating effect on the economy, especially in the trade and agriculture sectors which are dominated by women and the tourism sector which has a high number of females in formal employment.

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