The Special Ebola Response Team of New Water in the Desert Assembly Church (NWIDA) has conducted a one-day community awareness Ebola training seminar for young people in VOA, Lower Brewerville.
The one-day training was intended to collectively discuss the issue of Ebola and advance collective ideas to fight and eradicate the disease from Liberia.
The awareness was held under the theme: “Ebola Volunteerism and the road to an Ebola free Liberia” brought together over 70 participants from nine community-based youth organizations in the area.
Youth groups which participated in the workshop included Greater Academic Students Association, Adrem (To the Point) Intellectual Forum, Diompelor Social and Athletic Club, Youths in Action for Education and Development, NWIDA Youth Fellowship, Young Women Professionals, Yellow Flower Youth Organization, Perry Town Development Association and Wilson Corner Youth Association.
Reverend Dr. Kortu K. Brown, who is a general overseer of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church, reminded his youthful audience that to win the war against Ebola, the fight must be prioritized by local communities including the youth, adding “all Liberians must get involve.”
Rev.Brown urged youth to step out and enhance the fight against Ebola. He therefore called on stakeholders to encourage communities to join the fight.
Since the outbreak of the deadly virus in Liberia, his church has been intervening through the provision of community awareness, providing personal protective equipment to health centers as well as food and non-food items, including over 200 bags of rice to vulnerable people in quarantined centers.
He disclosed that his church is working with local churches in Banjor Community in District 17 to ward off the threat posed by Ebola to that community.
The workshop, which was facilitated by the Political Officer of the United States Embassy near Monrovia, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, focused on the following topics: What is Ebola, How is it spread, How to prevent it, and what can Liberian youths do in the overall fight against Ebola?
Other related topics deliberated on by Mr. Chamberlain included the meaning of Volunteerism; Volunteerism in Community Development and the Role of the Youth in building a Peaceful, Prosperous Liberia. This was followed by a general discussion.
During his presentation, Mr. Chamberlain highlighted several points for his youthful audience to be aware as they fight Ebola:
He told the youth that Ebola is hard to get and is primarily transmitted through touching sick persons or dead bodies diagnosed with having the virus.
He continue, “Ebola is only passed or transmitted to someone when the signs and symptoms are being shown.”
The US envoy also noted that many people are afraid of isolation centers, but emphasized that the best way to be treated is to isolate oneself when diagnosed of the disease, adding that “being infected with Ebola is not a death sentence and that learning about Ebola is the best thing for Liberian youths to do to join the fight.”
Meanwhile, the participants made several recommendations in order to enhance their role in the fight against Ebola and the way forward.
According to them, there should be an increase in awareness by way of radio, jingoes, broadcasting messages in local languages, house to house visitations, dramatization in public places, etc.
The participants also called on government to establish trauma healing and counseling programs for relatives of Ebola victims available at the community level.