By: Augustine N. Myers –The Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) has increased its Awareness and Prevention Campaign as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus.
Liberian Health Ministry authority has reported that Ebola has again surfaced with cases of deaths reported in Lofa and Montserrado counties.
LDS Liberia is leaving no stone unturned aimed at ensuring that the necessary preventive awareness measures are taken against the spread of the deadly Disease.
As part of the efforts, the third Prevention Awareness Workshop has taken place in Zorzor City, Lofa county by the Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) in Partnership with the “Action by Churches Together” (ACT Alliance), a General Base Organization.
The workshop was attended by 44 participants, 10 females and 34 males from various organizations in Zorzor town. The participants were community and health workers from Zorzor, Konia, Borkeza, Yeala, and Salayea in Lofa County.
The Workshop also brought together two international guests from Sweden and Geneva, one Medical Doctor and Director for Lutheran Church in Liberia Malaria Project, the Executive Director of the Lutheran Development Service in Liberia, Lutheran Development Program Assistant and Emergency Focal Person, one Medical Nurse as Ebola coordinator and the Ebola Monitor for Lofa base.
The Workshop sponsored by ACT Alliance Geneva and implemented by ACT Alliance Liberia Forum.
LDS Executive Director, Joseph S. Binda challenged the participants to not only acquire the knowledge but as well serve as Ambassadors to ensure practical Ebola sensitization and prevention.
Mr. Binda described the workshop as important and encouraged the participants to attach seriousness.
According to the LDS Boss, the issue of the Ebola virus is an issue of national concern that must be taken seriously.
Mr. Binda said the Ebola Prevention Awareness Workshop is important to further provide sensitization on the existence of the virus and measures it prevent it.
He stressed it was regrettable that some people still reject the existence of the Ebola virus in Liberia, and urged the participants to amplify the awareness campaign against the spread of Ebola.
Zorzor District Education Officer, Thomas Peter Toe described the workshop as very important to fully educate participants of the danger of Ebola and how it can be prevented.
Mr. Toe urged participants to sharpen their skills to actively understand and be able to professionally spread the message of prevention in their respective communities and work places.
Also speaking, Lofa County Acting Health Team Officer and Senior Pharmacist, Wolobah Y. Moore commanded LDS and ACT Alliance for the important workshop.
Mr. Moore said the issue of Ebola in Liberia is serious and called for some people to stop doubting the existence of the deadly virus in Liberia.
He described the issue of denial by many about the existence of Ebola into Liberia as a serious challenge.
He said people are dying from the virus in Liberia and announced in the workshop that 3 persons have died from the Ebola virus in Foya, Lof county.
Mr. Moore called on participants to take the workshop serious and leave as Agents of change.
He also expressed hope that the workshop will be extended to 15 communities instead of five.
For his part, a Medical Doctor at the Phebe Hospital in Bong county, Dr. Morris Y. Harris said the workshop is important and stressed the need for behavior change.
Dr. Harris who is also the Director of the Lutheran Church in Liberia Malaria Programme, wants behavior change on hand washing as a simple and important method to prevent the spread of Ebola.
He described hand washing as a cardinal point in the prevention of the Ebola virus.
According to him, hand washing is important because it helps prevent not only Ebola but keeps one healthy.
Dr. Harris also wants behavior change concerning the issue of denial as most people still doubt the existence of the Ebola virus in the country.
Also speaking at the Workshop, the Senior Program Officer for Africa at ACT Alliance Secretariat in Geneva, Katherine Ireri said her visit to Liberia is part of the workshop and the Ebola outbreak.
“I am here to share the love from ACT Alliance Members with the community in Liberia and to share our solidarity in this response”, Madam Ireri pointed out.
According to her, ACT Alliance is supporting LDS with little funding to create awareness to prevent more people from contracting the Ebola virus.
Also speaking, the Programme Officer for Africa-Church of Sweden Regional Unit, Annierose Albertsen also said they were in Liberia because of the emergency response to the Ebola outbreak.
She said they are one of the 140 Organizations funding for such responses through their General Office.
Madam Albertsen also pointed out that her visit to Liberia is to have a glance of how LDS is working with the communities in such a situation and to know the level of unity or approach against the spread of Ebola.
The Ebola Sensitization and Awareness Workshop by the Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) is the third in series.
The workshop was facilitated by McDonald Denis, Mai Fallah and Vandi V. Kallon, inspiring Community and Health Workers to take the lead in the awareness and prevention of the Ebola virus.
The Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) is a Lutheran non-governmental organization that was established in January 2002. It is the development arm of the Lutheran Church in Liberia with the responsibilities to provide diaconal services to people in an impartial way. In 2010, LDS took over the activities of the Lutheran World Federation/Department for World Service, Liberia programme (LWF/DWS – Liberia).
LDS aims to positively contribute to peaceful, sustainable communities in Liberia through provision of high quality rights-based development, empowerment and relief programmes.