The Ebola outbreak continues to worsen with deaths nearing 5,000 people, making it imperative that local governments as well as the international community take immediate action to eliminate the virus ravaging West Africa.
Liberia, a country that is still recovering from a devastating civil war just fifteen years ago, is battling the Ebola virus with a weakened healthcare system and a lack of sufficient medical facilities. However, my organization, Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (THINK, Inc.), is helping to raise awareness about the virus, and spread the word about preventative hand washing throughout parts of Liberia.
Over the past several weeks, my team and I have spent time in various communities across Rivercess County and Monrovia talking with local people, law enforcement and government officials about the Ebola breakout. The level of denial is high so we have a lot of work to do in convincing people that it is a real killer. People who have lost family members to Ebola are stigmatized and other community members hide sick relatives for fear of stigmatization.
A bucket with a faucet was donated to police officers at the Women and Children Protection Section, Zone – 5 Base for a safe hand washing station.
It is our goal to ensure that people understand the significance of proper hand washing. It is imperative that people grasp the importance of staying inside and having minimal contact with others until the virus is eradicated.
Since many people do not have access to a radio or T.V., we have found that in person conversations have been most effective. Our group continues to travel to various rural areas to provide people with buckets, chlorine, and soap; we also give a demonstration on how to prepare the chlorinated water for disinfection. Additionally, we have stopped by various check points to ensure that they have an adequate amount of supplies, so that the stations are clean and effective when people pass through.
A bucket with faucet is donated to the Commander of the Zone – 8 Base in the ELWA Community where THINK offices are located. Chlorine, soap and flyers with prevention messages were given with all buckets.
We believe that the right information is power in the fight against Ebola; if people are informed of the proper facts, they will be able to share those facts with others, and more efficiently comply with instructions given by the Ebola Task Force and the Ministry of Health.
We believe that prevention is always better than the cure.