By Amie Sanneh
Sana Sambou, Head of Disease Control and the National Incident Coordinator for Ebola, has cautioned the public that Ebola is still in the sub region.
According to him, the Gambia is termed as one of the most vulnerable countries because of its proximity to the epic center. He said the country has a weak health system and as such they are therefore taking advantage of the situation to see how best it can be strengthened not only for Ebola but any other current or emerging disease.
Mr. Sambou was speaking in an interview with this reporter last Friday, after the end of a five day intensive training for members of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) on Ebola. This team is considered as one of the most important arms of the National Coordination Team under the National Taskforce Team on Ebola.
The purpose of bringing them together, Sambou explained, is to train them on their roles and responsibilities and for them to know each other so that they will be able to fulfill their responsibilities as enshrined in the national plan.
According to him, the next step to be taken is to see how best they can work on the recommendations that emanated from the training which they will put forward to the NTF and ensure that they are implemented. This, he noted, is the only way for them to move to the next level.
He urged his team members to review the documents given to them and familiarize themselves with their roles and responsibilities and ensure that things do not stop at where they are now. He also expressed hope that the participants will share the information learnt with their colleagues and for them to be supported by the institution towards the execution of their tasks.
Mr. Sambou called on the community to give them all the support they need in the fight against Ebola. He also advised them to continue using the 1025 number for emergencies as it is the only number that is free of charge and that anybody can call from any part of the country to ask anything relating to Ebola.
“Ebola is beyond a health issue and it touches on all the fabrics of society, so everybody is affected directly or indirectly. So we should all work collectively to ensure that Ebola does not come here or when it comes here, it should not be a problem when we act collectively to respond to the problem and achieve what we want to achieve as a country,” he said.
Mr. Sambou said hygiene is part of life without which one is inviting problems. “Ebola likes people who do not take care of their personal hygiene needs. With personal hygiene, Ebola cannot flourish well. Hygiene is against any virus, so therefore with hygiene we can stay healthy,” he said.
Sambou also urged them to ensure that hygiene measures are practised in whatever people do as this is the only way they can prevent themselves from infections, including Ebola.