|Posted by RCG-SL on September 29, 2014 at 10:35 AM|
By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
Mrs. Kallon handing over Personal Protective Equipment to healtcare workers
The Non-Governmental Organization, ODINSAL, which over the years has engaged in educational and health related issues in Sierra Leone, is now supporting efforts by the Government of Sierra Leone to contain the spread of the Ebola virus.
Sierra Leone and Liberia have been especially hard hit, and officials have warned that both countries could see a surge in cases soon. Sierra Leone is expecting to uncover potentially hundreds of new cases when volunteers go house to house looking for the sick during a three-day lockdown later this month. The World Health Organization has said Liberia could see many thousands of new cases in the coming weeks.
The worst Ebola outbreak in history has also hit Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal, and has been blamed for more than 2,200 deaths across West Africa.
The disease is taking a particularly heavy toll on health care workers, whose jobs put them at high risk because Ebola is only transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of people showing symptoms or dead bodies. More than 135 health workers have died in the outbreak so far, exacerbating shortages of doctors and nurses in countries that already had too few medical workers to begin with.
Healthcare workers attached to the hospital of the organization, Old Dominion Hospital, visited the Levuma community, one of the most deprived villages in Sierra Leone and sensitize the people about the spread of the virus and also providing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.
Adama, the head of the clinic, and other nurses also engaged the counselors and community heads of the village. The activity by the hospital, according to Adama, is providing positive response as a result of the good relationship between them and the Ministry of Health.
“We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of health,” she said, adding that they are doing everything possible to continue efforts in containing the spread of the virus.
He also said the immunization exercise is still ongoing and that all the resources are being provided by the founder of the organization, Mrs. Kadiatu Kallon, a Sierra Leonean resident in the United States of America. The organization has also recently constructed a library block stocked with books worth millions of Leoneans in Magburaka and donated to the community.
In Freetown, efforts are being made by the organization to engage other stakeholders at community level for better understanding of the virus and how to prevent its spread.
“We are grateful to the founder and CEO of this organization and also all those that are supporting her works in Sierra Leone,” Chief Alhaji Bangura said while receiving a package containing isolation gowns, gloves and other protective tools.
Efforts by Mrs. Kallon and ODINSAL are being commended by various stakeholders in the country and are pleading with the organization to extend its operation in other parts of the country.
The Founder and CEO, Mrs. Kadiatu Kallon, said in a telephone interview that what she is doing is ‘giving back to society’ because she believes that for Sierra Leone to develop, health and education must be at the center of every activity in the country’s development pursuit.
She said the Government alone cannot push all the processes and thus the need for everyone’s responsibility to give a hand.
“Our response will complement Government’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus. We are also grateful to the support of our friends in the US and hope the contribution we are making will positively impact in the country’s development efforts.