Risk communicators of the Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNe) have been trained to help in the mitigation and containment or further spread of the deadly novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease and also empowered to carry out series of community outreach programs.
CBRNe is a network of collaborators from line Ministries and agencies of government as well as a number of other partners from the private sector who are immensely contributing to the risk management or mitigation within Liberia and other countries.
In a brief conversation with the Daily Observer, the lead focal person for CBRNe in Liberia, Martin Scott Tabi said the network is doing all it can to support the fight against COVID-19 and provide more education to the public about the operations of CBRNe.
“The CBRNe’s Centre of Excellence recently ended a four days of intensive outreach characterized by the distributions of assorted items to communities across Montserrado County and the distribution awareness exercise seeks to cover targeted areas such as; schools mosques, churches, markets grounds, political and intellectual centers as well as slum communities, among others,” Professor Tabi said.
He said Liberia is situated on the tropic of the equator and as such there are a lot of biological components that affect the communities and that there are also numerous chemicals, most of which are dangerous, but not many people know about the risks involved.
He informed the Daily Observer that 50 participants from line Ministries and agencies of government as well as from the private sector gathered in Paynesville and received professional training in CBRNe risk management and COVID-19 prevention.
“Due to some reasons beyond our control, 37 of the 50 participants completed the training, and we certificated them in a bid to allow them partner with the national Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and all other health institutions to educate the public on how to mitigate CBRNe risk and prevent COVID-19,” Tabi noted further.
He urged students to implement the actions from the sessions and lessons learned from the field.
Tabi said materials, including hand washing buckets, face masks, liquid and medicated soap, among others were delivered to the participants to go out in the communities, mainly on selected school campuses, some market grounds, Mosques and Churches and share with people at no cost.
Supporting the training of the risk management team were Nimba County District #3 Representative, Joseph Nyan Somwarbi who is chairman on Health Committee at the 54th Legislature representative, Johnson Hinneh, director on school health at the Ministry of Education, Marilyn Sweete Myers, one of the key focal point CBRNe persons in Liberia.
Mr. Johnson Hinneh, Director on School health at the Ministry of Education lauded the CBRNe platform for continuously educating people about the need to be cautious and vigilant in risk management, mainly from the CBRNe and the current COVID-19 that is ravaging the world.
Hinneh said communication is an integral part of risk management and as such, participants must rise up to the occasion, not just upon their receipt of certificates but to become agents of change.
Rep. Joseph Nyan Somwarbi too, lauded the organizers of the training and for a more brilliant work done in mitigating risks in the country.
Somwarbi said he was pleased to see group of young people voluntarily giving their time and efforts to achieve knowledge without putting forth money and material gains.
According to him, while it is true that the CBRNe has not been fully funded, its activities and the impacts thereof are being felt across Liberia.
He cautioned participants on the value of the knowledge they have acquired: “a very viable one which globally may ensure that the messages concerning risks management, resonate with the beneficiaries.”
Rep. Somwarbi pledged his unflinching support to the program and said assured the focal team of his readiness at all times to avail himself and his little resources for the success of the CBRNe program.