By Muhammad Bah
The University of the Gambia (UTG), Gambia College, The Management Development Institute (MDI), and The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) on Wednesday, 17 September, 2014 established Ebola committee’s in their respective tertiary institutions.
Prof. Muhamadou Kah, the Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, speaking at the ceremony, said to establish Ebola committee’s is to have a mechanism in place to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the students. He said Ebola makes no institution comfortable, including the educational institutions, where people from all different places come to attend school.
Prof. Kah noted that the Health Ministry is doing well to prevent the outbreak of Ebola in the country, but that it cannot be left alone, adding that the UTG and sister tertiary institutions will be involved in the efforts to keep Ebola at bay.
The UTG Vice Chancellor said these tertiary institutions, including the University, will each setup an Ebola committee to sensitize and oversee Ebola related matters by taking care of students who are suspected, adding that the committee would put preventive measures in place and monitor them.
On the constitution of the committees, VC Kah said each comprises a senior lecturer of the University and of the different colleges to be in each faculty, adding that their responsibility is to monitor Ebola and its related issues and also sensitize students. He said the committee’s will communicate to the health authorities for any unusual signs from students.
The UTG Vice Chancellor concluded that the committee members will be provided with the materials needed to safeguard Ebola and they will also be speaking against stigmatization of people from Ebola countries.
Madam Jahou Faal, the Director of the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), said they have made some vital steps to prevent Ebola. She said that GTTI through its Engineering Department had invented a prototype container for students to wash their hands by using their legs to pedal water out of the container and not their hands. She said the cost that was incurred to invent such a device was expensive but they have to endeavor as the consequences of Ebola are serious and that it is important for students to know the dos and don’ts of Ebola.
The Deputy Director of MDI, Mr. Alieu Jarju, spoke against the dramatization of the virus or over-reaction by people, adding that this can affect the victims or scare sick people. He said implementation is always a challenge but added that with immediate effect no student will be allowed to enter the MDI campus without washing his/her hands.
For his part, Mr. Aboubacarr Jallow, the Registrar at the Gambia College, said students at the Gambia College are working hard to sensitize students on Ebola by distributing flyers and will not relent on these efforts. He hailed the step being taken in setting up the Ebola Committee’s in these concern schools of learning.