Global Communities Strengthen Liberia/Guinea Border Surveillance

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Global Communities, an American-based development organization, recently concluded a daylong cross border surveillance meeting for Ebola response between Liberian and Guinean authorities in the Liberian Town of Belefanai, Zota District in Bong County.

The objective of the forum was to enhance cross border surveillance as a means of maintaining the gains being realized by both countries in an effort contain the further spread of the Ebola virus, despite reports of renewed outbreak in the Liberia, while Guinea and Sierra Leone are still battling with the virus.

At the meeting, officials representing the two countries seized the opportunity to provide each other with situation updates about the EVD in their respective countries.

The Liberia delegation was headed by Bong County Superintendent, Selena Polson Mappy, while the Prefecture of Youmou, was represented by an official of the Guinean Government.

The meeting was organized by the America-based international development organization, Global Communities (GC) with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Global Communities representative makes power-point presentation

Currently Global Communities is providing material, technical and financial support to 36 community-based teams along the Liberian-Guinean borders.

The event, according to Global Communities Acting Advisor in Bong County, Michael Sackey Fogbawa, was hosted with the intent to enable community dwellers residing at the border towns of the two countries to get involved by helping to secure cross-border entries aimed at containing the spread of the EVD.

The Global Communities, he said, will establish a database recording system on both sides of the border to indicate people leaving and entering from the two countries.

Mr. Fogbawa said the organization has identified 36 villages on the Liberian side of the border as places of interest for work, and therefore, will work with the local chiefs, health practitioners and community dwellers to ensure that measures put in place are observed.

“Global Communities will hold regular meetings with the community residents and provide them compensation regularly as an inducement so that people will follow strategies laid down by the community,” Mr. Fogbawa declared.

He assured residents of Bong County that his organization, in partnership with the county leadership and other organizations, will continue to make significant contributions towards the Ebola fight until it is rolled out of the sub-region.

He challenged authorities of the two countries as well as health workers, traditional leaders, youth and women groups and the local administrations to organize a robust network to constantly monitor the health situation as a means of preventing resurgence of the disease along the borders.

Earlier, Bong County Superintendent Selena Mappy extolled Global Communities for organizing the Ebola surveillance meeting. She stressed that the forum will help to further strengthen the existing cordial relationship between people of the two countries.

She then hailed her Guinean counterpart for participating in the forum, adding, “This demonstrates that the two countries are prepared to redouble their efforts in the fight against the EVD.”

For his part, the Guinean Prefecture Mustapha Flomo Conde, speaking through an interpreter, commended Global Communities for the opportunity and said the meeting will further increase the education his government has been carrying on along the border.

Prefecture Conde told the meeting that the number of cases has drastically reduced in Guinea as the result of the full involvement of the community people and the government of Guinea.

The Guinean delegation also included the City Mayor of Youmou, the head of the health team, the commander of the Gendarmerie, the coordinator of Civil Society Organizations, traditional leaders and youth leaders.

Bong County’s delegation included the County Immigration Commander, County Health Officer, Dr. Samson Azoakoi, the Commissioner of Panta District, the Paramount Chief of Zota District and an array of other local leaders.

Participants at the meeting were provided the opportunity to ask questions relating to the Ebola transmission.

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