MOT, ABIC Empower Motorcyclists to Prevent Ebola

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The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Transport, in collaboration with the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC), recently held a one day Ebola Prevention Training of Trainers workshop for motorcyclists from across Monrovia.

The workshop, held at the Monrovia City Hall, brought together more than fifty motorcyclists under the theme, “Transport the People Not the Virus.”  The organizers are confident that with the cooperation of motorcyclists, Ebola can be eradicated from Liberia.

The workshop was intended to provide training for Motorcyclists on the necessary Ebola preventive measures in order for them to be able to educate others.

Speaking during the closure of the daylong workshop, the UNDP Deputy Country Director for Program, Mr. Dorsla D. Farlarthy, said that motorcyclists are a key means of transportation in the country and that the rapid spread of Ebola comes from transportation.  So motorcyclists must be ambassadors in the fight against the EVD by spreading the message to others, he stressed.

“Pen pen riders transport people all of the time so we want you to go out and be ambassadors, educating others about Ebola preventive measures and ensuring that these messages remain visible to motorcyclists and passengers at all times.  All motorcyclists should spray their bikes with chlorinated water before and after each passenger is taken,” UNDP Deputy Farlarthy cautioned.

Mr. Farlarthy disclosed that UNDP will provide logistical support including disinfectants, buckets, stickers and chlorine in order to empower motorcyclists in all communities in which they operate.

The Ministry of Transport’s Ebola Focus person, Gabriel Tarplah, reminded motorcyclists to work tirelessly because they have a major role to play in winning the fight against the Ebola Virus in Liberia.

“The country is depending on our pen pen riders to ease the transportation burden by reaching our people to remote and hard to reach areas.

“You motorcyclists risk your lives and that of your families when you carry sick persons on your bikes, therefore in order to fight against the Ebola virus, you have to stop transporting sick people on your bikes,” Mr. Tarplah admonished.

Mr. Hilary K.D. Gbegeah, ABIC project officer, observed that since the outbreak of Ebola in March, the spread of the virus has been experienced in every county simply by the means of transportation.

“As we all know, you motorcyclists are the largest transporters in Liberia and your role in the fight against Ebola is recognized by ABIC, MOT and our sponsors, UNDP. We are at a crucial stage in the fight against Ebola and pretty soon schools will be reopening.  If we fail to eradicate EVD 100%, the lives of our young   people, especially students will be at risk as they will be transported to their destinations daily,” he said.

Meanwhile, workshop participants extended their appreciation to the Ministry of Transport, the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) and UNDP for providing them with the training.  The motorcyclists pledged to implement what they were taught in order to help combat the spread of the virus.

The motorcyclists were awarded certificates of participation at the end of the Ebola prevention training of trainers’ workshop.

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