Prevent Ebola Before You Cure is a short drama booklet. The author, Michael Hamadi Secka uses drama to share information about Ebola. The bare and hard facts and useful information about Ebola imposed on people could have sprouted some polemics amongst the conservatives; that is why the author used drama to share this valuable information.
Apart from Ebola, the author also briefly shared information about Malaria and HIV AIDS. The school children need information since they could also share the information amongst the members of their family and community. Elders too have a pivotal role to play if society wishes to use them well; they could play an important role in sharing information. Religious leaders too must not be left out in any crusade since they interact with the society periodically and they are much looked upon to as custodians of knowledge.
The drama depicts the story like this: Saloum was a stubborn boy who never gives up. Life is precious, it must be saved. He is ready to spend whatever it may cost him to make sure that Ebola is thrown out of that small country of theirs. In addition the population of his native country is so low that should Ebola strike everybody would succumb to death.
The man who died was sick for a long time. He was equally a man of high calibre. He could not be buried without being washed. He could not either be washed by people covering their noses as if he was stinking. He must be buried as it is ordained by the holy books.
What about Ebola? It is a disease but whoever is destined to die shall die when and if the time comes. Could a small boy from such a family of low background decide for such a big society? Once dead, one becomes useless. Therefore, to say that somebody who is dead could transmit diseases or could be harmful to the living, no sane Muslim or Christian would buy such an idea. Just as the winds blow and the number of deaths increased, the Imam had no choice but to succumb to the boy’s ideas about Ebola.
So essentially, this book is to help children concretize facts about Ebola through Drama. The author fears that if the teacher gives them the information so easily, they would not internalize the facts. Therefore, the teacher should engage the pupils in brainstorming exercises about Ebola, to the extent that children would understand the causes, symptoms and signs as well as the preventive measures against the fatal epidemic.
Scene one goes like this: Elders discussing Ebola following a radio broadcast over the air. The elders play local draughts whilst the young ones keep on playing grass sewn football around. As the debate intensifies, the call for prayer was announced.
Kebba (moves his white hat about, folds the arms and looks around his environment). You heard the news broadcast yesterday that there is a new disease that had plagued us. This time we are told not to eat bush meat and birds and not to even shake hands with each other.
Amadou: (pushes out his arm, crosses the rest of the fingers and tries to control his stammering said: This signals the end of the world. If we are told not to eat this meat what do we feed on now?
Follow the Drama book on Ebola for your amusement and information!!!!
Michael Hamadi Secka was born in Basse Santa-su. He received his early educational experience from his own native town, (St. Georges Primary School and proceeded to Armitage High School and then to the Gambia College, school of Education. He is now working as an Education officer in Curriculum, Research, Evaluation and Development Directorate. Mr. Secka is a prolific writer who has written close to twenty-five books.