Ebola Awareness Campaign in Partnership with CARITAS Freetown
Ebola haemorrhagic fever first emerged in 1976 in 55 villages near the headwaters of the Ebola River, killing 9 out of every 10 people it infected.
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or through body fluids from an infected person. The disease manifests itself in the form of fever, diarrhoea and bleeding. There is no cure for the disease, and between 60%-80% of infected cases die.
The most recent Ebola outbreak began in Guinea and has since then spread to the neighbouring states Liberia and Sierra Leon and Nigeria. The Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone is currently taking place in two districts on the boarders with Guinea and Liberia. According to recent estimates from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Centre for Disease Control surveillance weekly report, there have been over 700 confirmed cases and about several hundred deaths. Containing the epidemic and preventing its spread to other more populated districts is proving to be very challenging. There is an urgent need to heighten sensitization in the country.
If not properly contained, Sierra Leone risks reversing most of the recent gains it has made in the area of health care, particularly institutional delivery, immunization and treatment of fistula cases. Already most frontline health workers are in constant dread of treating patients, for fear that they may be carrying the Ebola virus, which they can pass on to them. Most nurses have stopped assisting pregnant women with delivery. Even centres that have been providing surgical care for fistula patients have temporally stopped their treatment.
In order to augment sensitization with regard to the Ebola epidemic outbreak the project objectives are
The Project aims are
- To scale up the dissemination of information on the prevention and referrals of suspected Ebola cases in different communities.
- To enhance the health seeking behavior of communities in the western area rural and urban.
- To prevent the spread of Ebola Virus in communities in two operational districts namely Western Area Rural and Western Area Urban in Sierra Leone.
The proposed sensitization exercise will take the form of person -to -person information, and also through the use of electronic and print media. Caritas Freetown already has Health volunteers working in the targeted communities. These same volunteers will be trained to provide correct information dissemination to their communities on Ebola, and how to protect themselves, as they were already previously trained on providing education of the prevention of cholera in the same targeted communities.
The information will be in the form of posters, leaflets and recorded messages played on local radio stations, jingles aired on local radio station, and reading the messages through mega phones at community meetings. The messages will be provided in five local languages (Mende, Temne, Limba, Fula, and Krio) which are the predominantly spoken languages of our targeted Communities. Community members will be advised on the need to avoid, direct contact with wounds, body fluids, contacts and especially with dead bodies. Plastic coats and gloves will be provided to prevent direct contact with bodies especially during burials. Chlorine will be provided to wash hands and garments and other surfaces that suspected cases or dead person may have touched and also hand sanitizers and soaps will be provided to the households in the targeted communities.
Health workers will also be provided with information on Ebola, as well as items to protect them from infection. These items will include chlorine disposable gloves, elbow gloves, plastic costs and rain boots.
Under the following links you can find further web presence of us with information regarding Ebola and our awareness campaign: