From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone News : Pink Cross Sierra Leone Sensitizes and Trains 250 Ebola Survivals
By Awareness Times
Aug 31, 2015, 12:06

The possible end of Ebola is in sight as Sierra Leone has commenced the count down from zero to forty two days. As Sierra Leoneans brace for the triumphant end of Ebola, many are still suffering from the negative psychological scars the deadly disease has created on their minds. It is against this backdrop that an organization known as Pink Cross Sierra Leone conducted two days training on Psycho-social counseling and Hygiene at the Aberdeen Community Center from 28th -29th August 2015.

 

Pink Cross Sierra Leone is a humanitarian, Non Governmental Organization formed to promote advocacy, raising public awareness and sensitization campaign, provide psycho-social counseling and support to Ebola victims-survivors and orphans, and to implements health related programs. Pink Cross simply means crossing the mark of death.

Key stakeholders at the high table

 

Pink Cross hired a Trainer to Train the Trainees on psycho-social and health issues. These Trainees are in turn expected to train their fellow Ebola survivals within their respective communities on hygiene, psycho-social and health related issues.

 

The training drew the attention of two hundred and fifty participants from communities within Aberdeen including: Crab Town, Tambakula, Soso Town and the surrounding environs. These participants were mainly Ebola survivals and orphans.

Ramatu Koroma and Sara Sesay proudly posing for a picture after the training

 

Pink Cross aimed to train Ebola survivals and use them to counsel other survivals. It is an approach wherein survivor meets another survivor to hear his or her own story and explain in details how she/he came in contact with EVD, what she/he went through and mechanisms that help him/her to recover from his/ her traumatic situation. Furthermore, the training is geared towards encouraging others to inculcate good hygienic practice within their respective communities.

 

According to Patrick Kamara, Field Coordinator, Pink Cross Sierra Leone, the two days training exercise was in line with complementing the work of Ministry of Health and the Government of Sierra Leone in the Post-Ebola Recovery Programme.

Assorted sanitary items ready to be distributed to participants at the training

 

"We found out that the community of Aberdeen is lagged in psycho-social support. There are many survivals whose relatives died of Ebola but had no one to console them at their time of bereavement. There are also many Ebola survivals who were never welcome back by their communities after surviving the Ebola disease, as a result, they have become much traumatized. In that case, we feel that if we engage these participants in psychosocial counseling, it will help them to get over their past misfortune."

 

This is why Pink Cross trained these participants in psychosocial counseling, social awareness and implementing health related programs to prevent further outbreak like Diarrhea and Cholera in Aberdeen. 

Ibrahim Kargbo a beneficiary


Hawanatu Kamara, an Ebola survival explained that she was very saddened when she lost her only child to the Ebola Viral Disease. According to her all hope is lost as even her house at Tambakula has been broken down by Freetown City Council. Hawanatu expressed that the two day training has resuscitated her hope. With the little knowledge gained some she is capacitated to counsel her fellow survivals when they are tired with the vicissitude of suppression and stress.

 

"I was depressed but now I am healed; I can help heal the wounds of my fellow survivals, thanks to Pink Red Cross," she said.

Ibrahim Suma engaging the media

 

According to Ibrahim Jack Suma, Human Resource Manager, Pink Cross Sierra Leone has its manifest goal which is geared towards to savaging social problems faced by Ebola survivals. He said despite trauma healing is the paramount in reintegrating these survival into their respective societies, hygiene must be consider as a key complimenting factor in preventing further outbreak.

 

During the fight, partners played their part but specific individuals are needed to play significant role. Now that Ebola is almost defeated, psycho-social counseling and other health related provisions are essential in returning the lives of survivals to normalcy and they must not be underestimated. It is against this backdrop that Pink Cross Sierra Leone has intervened to engage stakeholders in Aberdeen Community by given training them to inculcate the culture of standard hygiene.

 

The training culminated with the distribution of veronica buckets, bars of soap, gallon of chlorine and sanitary kit to each participant.



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