NTAL Launches Ebola Awareness Campaign

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A one-day awareness campaign aimed at educating teachers and educators on the Ebola viral disease has been launched in the country by the National Teachers’ Association of Liberia (NTAL).

The program, which was launched under the theme: “Together, We Say to Ebola Go and Never to Return,” also seeks to sensitize educational workers to join national government’s efforts to contain the further spread of the disease in the country.

The president of NTAL, Rev. Ellen Fartu Varfley, who launched the anti-Ebola awareness campaign said, although they were left out of the formation of the National Taskforce on Ebola by the government, the NTAL will not just sit there and watch teachers, education workers, and community dwellers die of the virus.

“We could not just sit supinely on the fence and watch our teachers; education workers as well as community dwellers die of the deadly virus,” Rev. Varfley emphasized.

According to her, every one of them (the teachers) has the same goal to save life and to kick Ebola out of Liberia.

She said, members of the NTAL in the 15 counties have being victimized by the disease, and as such, “we are declaring total war against the virus,” the NTAL president emphasized.

She then told the education workers that Ebola is not a death sentence, “if you have the symptoms such as, headache, fewer, diarrhea, vomiting etc., go to the nearby hospital or clinic immediately for check-up where the disease can  be treated, it is obvious that prevention is better than cure.”

“Our leadership in all the counties including districts, schools and communities, are capable to fight this virus, because we cannot see it, but we can still set arm-bush for it and contain it by using all the hygienic and preventive measures,” said Rev. Varfley.

Madam Varfley stressed the need for all teachers to put their energy together to actively kick the deadly disease out of the country.

She called on her partners and well-wishers to assist them with some preventive materials and transportation to facility their movement in the country.

Rev. Varfley meanwhile donated 15 chlorine buckets and disinfectant materials to the 15 counties where the NTAL has branches.

For her part, Felecia Sackey Doe-Sumah, Assistant Education Minister for Childhood Education, commended the NTAL for the efforts toward the fight against Ebola virus disease.

She quoted Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as saying, “Ebola is everybody business and is not for one sector,” therefore everyone needs to join the government to fight this health emergency in Liberia.

According to her, everywhere is getting crippled by the virus, and as such, “We have being affected by Ebola, we need to continue our efforts to ensure that we all work together to kick the virus out.”

She also urged teachers to demonstrate good behavior practices during the Ebola crisis, “because people in the communities are looking up to them (teachers) for guidance and the display of preventive measures.

Moreover, Assistant Minister Sumah said, teachers should be the one to tell people to stop watching dead bodies in the community because Ebola is real, and it kills.

Meanwhile, Victor Geekor, marketing manager of Secure Risk Insurance Company lauded the NTAL for stepping in as head of teachers in the country to kick Ebola virus out of the country.

Also, the secretary-general of the Civil Society Movement of Liberia (CSML), Christopher Toe, has called on the government to reopen all schools in the country.

Toe believes that when schools are reopened, the campuses could be used as one of the cardinal points to carry out Ebola sensitization, and to also promote hygienic measures, thereby moving Liberia towards zeroing the infection.

He made the recommendation last Tuesday during programs marking the official launch of the National Teachers’ Association (NTAL) Ebola Awareness Program in Monrovia.

Toe emphasized that with the reopening of schools, teachers and students could be hired by the National Taskforce to play a vital role in spreading anti-Ebola messages both at school, and in their various communities.

While thanking the NTAL for its resolve to play a proactive role in the fight against the killer disease, Mr. Toe then challenged teachers to approach the Ebola issue with commitment and dedication to help contain the spread of the virus since they are the role models.

At the same time, the secretary-general of the National Principal Association of Liberia, Albertha Coker, reminded her colleagues of their individual and collective obligations to contribute to the fight against the disease, “because some of the teachers too are being victimized by the situation.”

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