From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Red Cross Launches TERA System in Sierra Leone
By Aruna Turay
Apr 17, 2013, 17:28

The Sierra Leone Red Cross Society was yesterday Tuesday 16th April 2013 joined by telecommunication companies in Sierra Leone to officially launch the Trilogy Emergency Relief Application (TERA) in Sierra Leone.


The launching ceremony which was held at the Hotel Barmoi in Freetown was done by the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Chief Alhaji Samuel Samsumana.


As Sierra Leone becomes the first in Africa and the second country in the world, after Haiti to launch the TERA system, the system will help the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society to reach thirty-six thousand people countrywide in an hour, with warning messages of impending disasters such as fire and flood or outbreak of diseases, among others.


Launching the system, Vice President Samsumana cited that in 2012, Sierra Leone was hit by the worse Cholera outbreak in forty years. He said simple information would have help prevent some of the three hundred deaths the country suffered during this outbreak.


The Vice President said it is of no secret that Sierra Leone has a poor health record but that the Government is committed to doing something about that. He said working with the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society and telecommunication companies, Sierra Leone can make sure people are armed with the knowledge and tools they need to protect its people.


He used the forum to register appreciation on behalf of His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone to the Red Cross and telecommunication companies for bringing forth such meaningful initiative to the country.


Director of Communication in the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Abubakarr Tarawallie said the system aimed to reach one million people nationwide in the first month with life-saving information on preventing Malaria, ahead of World Malaria Day slated for 25th April 2013. He said around sixteen thousand children and adults in a year die from Malaria in Sierra Leone, making it the country's largest preventable cause of death.


Mr. Tarawallie said the TERA system had been launched to cover a year of monthly preventable campaign planned for 2013-2014, covering everything from Malaria, Cholera, Tuberculosis and child health information to flood and fire prevention advice.


Sharon Reader, Beneficial Communication Delegate of the International Federation in the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) said the system will be a real life-saver. She said "we can target information to the affected communities and use it to warn people when emergencies or outbreaks start and also to give them vital information on preventing diseases".

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.