Gbowee Foundation Provides Ebola Contact Tracing Education, Distributes US$45,000 for Awareness Initiatives

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In their efforts to end the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country, the Gbowee Foundation for Peace in Africa last Friday ended a one-day training for Community Based  Organizations (CBOs). Those trained will be tracing and finding people, who have come in direct contact with Ebola-infected sick persons.

The Foundation also distributed the amount of US$45,000 among the 87 CBOs drawn from the 15 counties.

The contribution, according to the Foundation’s executive director, Madam Willametta  Saydee-Tar, was to enable the participants to launch a vigorous awareness initiative throughout their respective communities.

"The funds," she added, "were provided by the American Jewish World Service, African Petroleum, Segal Family Foundation, and Abigail E. Disney along with our international friends who donated, via Global Giving and the Gbowee Peace Foundation-USA." 

Contact tracing is the identification and diagnosis of persons who may have come into contact with an Ebola infected person.

From the World Health Organization (WHO) standpoint, it is one of the best ways to bring an end to the outbreak of the EVD into affected areas.

At Friday’s workshop, Madam Tarr told the participants that the exercise helps to contain infection and to stop the disease from transmitting to other people into ones community.

She continued: “It is a single infected person that can threaten your community, and so you need to take this public information campaign seriously to manage the spread of the disease.”

Madam Tarr reiterated that, “You have to trace family member of infected individuals to avoid the spread of the disease.”

To the participants, she further admonished them to spread the knowledge they acquired, because it was intended to them to identify people in their respective communities, who comes in direct contact with the sick.”

By that, she believes it would enable them to stop the spread of the deadly disease.

Madam Tarr then announced that the Foundation will shortly distribute personal protective equipment (PPEs) to community health care centers for use by the caregivers.

“We have lots of PPEs and shortly we will be shipping them into the country for distribution to only community’s health care centers. We are now focusing on the community health center to empower them to treat other sickness and not just Ebola.

Earlier, in her presentation, a volunteer with the Ministry of Health, Gloria Wayne,  reiterated that contact tracing was the best way to prevent the chain of transmission.

“It is a very important to construct more Treatment Units (ETUs), but you also have to concentrate on the exercise of contact tracing. This would help to break the chain of transmission. And to help you to watch them for sign of illness for 21 days from the last day they come into contact with the patient.”

Remember, Madam Wayne stressed, “You are not a health practitioner; you are a contact tracer, meaning you are only there to monitor individual, who has come in contact with a sick Ebola patient, and to immediately isolate them.”

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