By Sailu Bah
The Network officer for TANGO has revealed to this reporter that Scandinavian countries have cancelled all flights to The Gambia due to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.
According to the Network Officer, Kebba K Barrow, this cancellation followed a travel advice issued by the Scandinavian authorities to their citizens asking them not to come to West Africa due to the Outbreak of Ebola in some of the affected countries. According to Mr. Barrow, 50% of the tourists that visit the Gambia come from the Scandinavian countries, and the latest decision will affect the economy of the Gambia. Mr. Barrow made this remark during a sensitization forum held at their office and organized by TANGO in close collaboration with the Ministry of health and funded by UNDP on Tuesday 18th November 2014.
Different NGOs were invited to discuss the issue of Ebola in order to make sure that they contribute their part in the campaign to raise awareness on Ebola.
Mr. Barrow said TANGO has been carrying out sensitization programmes on Ebola in close collaboration with Action -Aid The Gambia throughout the country especially at the rural area in consultations with the Ministry of Health. “The phase of our sensitization was within the regions and the communities as well as religious leaders and traditional healers. This was funded by Action-Aid the Gambia and after holding the Ebola sensitization programmes for months, we feel it is not enough so we seek funding from UNDP for the second phase to target NGOs, institutions like banks, schools and youths from different organizations. The best way to combat Ebola is to create awareness among the people,” opined Barrow.
Mr. Barrow further revealed that they are working towards sensitizing the community through the community radio stations.
He further advised the public to use hand sanitizers and soap and to also avoid direct contact with people as much as possible.
RoheyNjie from the Health Department said the best way to avoid being infected with Ebola is through awareness creation. She said Ebola can be prevented by following the safety precautions mentioned by the WHO.
“People should wash their hands regularly and avoid shaking hands. Ebola is a very deadly disease that has killed lot of people in the Ebola affected countries,” she explained.
She further gave a brief history of Ebola and said the name came from DR Congo when it was discovered in 1976 in a village which was near a river called Ebola. She said it later disappeared but emerged again in 2012 and finally emerged in Guinea, Liberia and then Sierra Leone.
She said the situation in Liberia is getting better but Sierra Leone is getting worse.
By Sailu Bah