MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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Gwendolyn Myers, Executive_web.jpg

 

Today’s topic marks the end of our series on self-care, school environment protocols, and community and work place protocols. However, and as it is Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia’s cardinal programme to promote sustainable peace, we will continue to focus on Ebola response efforts.

The purpose of travel protocols, particularly during the Ebola pandemic, cannot be overemphasized, because and thankfully so, it was due to the lack of adherence to this travel protocols, that brought national as well as international attention to the urgent steps directed at curbing the Ebola Virus Disease.

In our dialogue with peace messengers, travel protocols should focus on surveillance and the establishment/strengthening of port health facilities, with holding/isolation centers at every border crossing (land frontiers, sea ports and airports) in the country. The essence of travel protocols is to identify sick travelers so as to prevent travelers importing the Ebola virus into the country and other parts of the world.

In the past, the yellow immunization card was used to: prepare travelers, advice and protect them from health risks associated to vector borne infections, food and water safety conditions. During this Ebola pandemic, travel protocols should improve on the use of the yellow card and provide health advisories on travel to and from Ebola affected countries. Guidance for monitoring the movement of persons with the possibility of EVD exposures should be pursued and member states should provide medical evacuation plans for their citizens.  

On this note, we would like to commend Brussels airlines for their strong leadership in ensuring a bridge to the outside world during the Ebola crisis.  The courage of this airline to continue their services, against all odds and when other regional airlines deserted Liberia is exemplary and should be emulated. According to Dr. Peter Piot of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, (one of the doctors who discovered the Ebola virus in 1976); “The air-link provided by Brussels Airlines is vital for logistical supply. Without this strong support it would be impossible to battle the disease.”

One message that comes across as we conclude our series on protocols necessary to prevent the spread of EVD, is the need for vigilance and strict adherence to the lessons learned from the strategies adopted during the Ebola epidemic. We need better coordination with partners, excellent contact tracing-the like the ones adopted by the USA and continuous education of all (survivors and the affected). Monitoring the implementation of all protocols should continue.

Just when we are only weeks away from being declared “Ebola-free,” the country recorded a new case. We can’t rest on our amour. Until then and with an end in sight, we need to redouble our collective efforts to stop and eradicate Ebola from our country. We need to understand what went well and what we need to do better.

Support the “Ebola Educates” Campaign in kind through your stories or with your generous cash donation.

Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates- The Paradox of EVD,” Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.

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