By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – As part of efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus from Liberia, an assembly aimed at eliminating the spread of Ebola through cross coordinating has been held between the Liberian and Guinean authorities in Jorwah, Panta District, Bong County.
The concept of cross border surveillance for Ebola response at the borders of the two countries was initiated by an international organization operating in Liberia, Global Communities “formerly CHF International”.
“The concept of Cross Border Surveillance Strategy focuses on involving communities’ leaders, health authorities and local government in combating the virus in their respective communities”, said Mr. Michael Fabawa, Technical Advisor of Global Communities’ Cross Border Surveillance on Ebola Response.
Presenting the Cross Border Surveillance Concept to the locals, County authorities and the visiting Guinean delegation Tuesday, Mr. Fabawa said the concept sets the pace for coordination between and amongst community dwellers, local authorities and Liberia’s neighbor, Guinea.
The Strategy is all about community residents playing host to Liberia’s porous border points to be active and robust in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.
According to Mr. Fabawa, it is all about community residents taking ownership of the process by protecting their areas through a coordinated effort supervise by the Office of the Superintendent in conjunction with health authorities.
Making remarks at the meeting, Bong County Superintendent, Serena Mappy commended Global Communities for the launch of such an initiative that is geared towards keeping surveillance at Liberia’s border points.
“You have a greater responsibility as a community to ensure that all steps are taken to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus”, Superintendent Mappy told residents.
Madam Mappy used the occasion to urge residents of Jorwah to take seriously the strategy on cross border surveillance by Global Communities.
The Bong County Superintendent also commended her Guinean counterpart, Mustapha Condi, Superintendent of Youmu Province, for honoring the invitation to attend the meeting in Liberia.
She assured the Guinean delegation of Liberia’s willingness and cooperation to ensure that the Ebola virus is eliminated from Liberia and Guinea, including Sierra Leone.
Making remarks, the Head of the Guinean delegation, Mustapha Condi praised Liberia for putting in place such a concept in the fight against the Ebola virus and the warm hospitality accorded them by Liberians.
Superintendent Condi said at present there are only 12 known cases of Ebola in the Republic of Guinea and all efforts have been mounted by his government to raid the country of Ebola.
Superintendent Condi said the Ebola outbreak had devastating consequences on the three countries: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
He appreciated doctors, nurses, youth, traditional leaders and the media of both countries for their steadfastness in the fight against the virus.
For their part, citizens of Panta and Zota Districts pledged their unflinching support to the cross border concept, assuring local government authorities and Global Communities of their readiness to implement the process.
Speaking on behalf of the citizens of the two Districts, the Commissioner of Panta District, Wellington Bellepu urged citizens to join Global Communities and government of Liberia and work in unity to stop the further spread of the virus.
“Protecting our respective communities should be our paramount concern, especially towns close to the border, Commissioner Bellepu added.
At the close of the meeting, delegates of the two countries visited border lines of the two countries, where the Head of the Guinean delegation explained the detail and essence of his visit to Liberia.
“We are counting on you as security personnel to enforce our cross border Surveillance on Ebola by not allowing any one to just cross over from either side of the two countries”, said Superintendent Condi.
The next cross border surveillance meeting is expected soon in Guinea, with support from Global Communities again.
The initiative is part of Global Communities’ USAID funded Project “Assisting Liberians with Education to Reduce Transmission (ALERT) Program.
The ALERT Project has supported Ebola burial team in the country and also empowering county health team to effectively respond to the Ebola virus outbreak and building the capacity of health workers.
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable.