MONITORING SAFETY MEASURES TO PREVENT EBOLA

By Kebba Camara & Sailu Bah

Foroyaa has been monitoring how the authorities are working to effect the recommended methods of control and prevention of the Ebola virus infection in the country. Ebola virus which is a looming threat to many parts of Africa, has killed almost 2000 people in five countries.

Foroyaa reporters, on Thursday 4th September 2014,took an observation tour of the Serekunda Hospital, Health Center and Faji Kunda Health Center to assess how the safety measures are being implemented. At Fajikunda health center, it was found that Educative posters on EBOLA prevention are strategically pasted within the health center and people could see and clearly read them. The posters are self explanatory which can help people to know the preventive methods from Ebola disease.

However, no hand washing activity is observed within the premises. Patients and other people including this reporter who came to the health center were seen moving freely in and out of the Health Centre without any sort of screening.

Some people were asked by this reporter whether they were asked by the health officials to wash their hands with soap and water and or wash hand in chlorine disinfectant before being allowed entry into the health centre. All said they were neither told nor have they seen any such activity going on at the Health Center.

Asked whether they would take such a precaution if they were asked to do so, they all responded in the positive adding that it is a preventive measure meant to protect them.

A visit to the Serrekunda General Hospital yesterday gave rise to the following observations;

-Nurses and Doctors were using examination gloves,

-Water, soap and effective hand washing was observed, and washing hands in ( chlorine) disinfectant was also in operation.

-There was also a waste disposal facility in place.

The Serrekunda Health Centre was also visited but it was observed that the situation was far different from what obtained at the Serekunda Hospital.The Center did not have any chlorine disinfectant and no one was seen using soap and water. All other safety measures described in the poster distributed by the World Health Organisation were not observed or put in practice.

Foroyaa will visit the Edward Francis Small Teaching hospital and the other regional medical facilities to observe if the recommended safety measures are put in place and further interview the health authorities on the challenges associated with the implementation of the safety measures in the said health facilities.