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NEWS : Politics  

Sierra Leone Politics : APC Womenís Congress in Emergency Response to Ebola Ö triggers mass grass root sensitization drive on Ebola crisis
By Bryan Randall
Jul 11, 2014, 17:14
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Madam Elizabeth Mans
The outstanding and inspirational President of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) National Womenís Congress, Madam Elizabeth Mans has called an Emergency meeting to strategize against Ebola in the Western Area. The Strategic Meeting for women stakeholders inside the Western Area, was held at the APC headquarters in Freetown on 10th July 2014. Madam Mans invited all 21 Western Area constituency chairladies, their deputies, district chairladies and other officers of the National Womenís Congress in a bid to activate the women of the party in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus currently affecting the nation.


Everyone was advised to make sure that they direct the operation in every constituency and zone. The leadership informed that plans are underway to secure buckets, chlorine, gloves and other equipment for the proposed seventy-seven (77) centres where active sensitization and immediate response will be conducted. The 77 centres constitute 46 structured markets and the 10 make-shift markets, including the 21 constituencies. The leadership is advocating for a fully equipped facility in the 77 centres.


Training will be conducted by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation officials on how to respond to suspected cases of Ebola within their locality, skills necessary for contact tracing and isolation and effective methods of sensitization (which involves translating sensitization messages to major languages, conducting radio/TV discussions/jingles etc).

 

They further discussed the airing of DVD Ebola sensitization in major centres like bus stops, cinemas, schools and market places. They highlighted the use of megaphones for a more effective social engagement.

 

The meeting had in their midst one of its own members who is a medical expert Madam Zulai Hassan Cooper representing the party at the Ministry of health task force. According to Zulai Hassan Cooper the threat of Ebola is very serious and must not be down played. She intimated that it has no cure but can be prevented. In explaining the signs and symptoms of Ebola, she said: it starts with very high fever, then a victims cough, sneeze, urine, feces, tears and sweat is mixed with blood. At this point they will begin to experience body/joint pains and some develop a skin rash.


In terms of prevention, Madam Zulai said, chlorine and Clorox are the most potent anti-agents for Ebola than sanitizers. The membership was advised that in using the protective kits after handling suspected cases, the kits must be disposed. She gave the emergency number which is Ď117í on all communication networks.

 

Representatives from the Ministry of Health in the persons of Madam Madina Rahman and Dr. Dove Edwin also advised the meeting on the need to effectively campaign against the spread and report all suspected cases. They advised that women should strongly advocate and effectively communicate to their compatriots, fellow women and youth, husbands, children and their family members.

 

Members were advised that the virus does not transfer if it is not visibly active in a person. They advised all to use gloves, take care of toilet seats, bathrooms, and other human waste disposals.

 

There was also a call by the women for Ministry officials to burn up all personal belonging of victims and fumigate the house the victim had lived at the time of the infection.

 

Since the foundation and the strength of the party is in the grassroots (market women, fishmongers, traders and others) the President of the womenís congress Mrs. Elizabeth Mans has now issued a call on all women leaders of the entire Western Area and other stakeholders through the ďMarket Women and Traders Development FoundationĒ to a mass sensitization meeting slated for Tuesday 15th July 2014 at 10:00am at the Atlantic Hall.

 

At the end of yesterdayís meeting at the APC offices, many people present highly commended Madam Elizabeth Mans.

 

One of the partyís female stalwarts from Constituency 106, Madam Isatu Bangura who is a grassroots businesswoman, told this writer that, ďit is now boldly clear that the APC Womenís Congress and major grass root organizations have stepped up to the call of His Excellency the President who is the Chairman and Leader of the APC, Dr. Ernest Bai KoromaĒ.


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