13 June 2014

Gambia: Orientation for Journalists

The Directorate of Health Promotion and Education on Wednesday oriented the Gambian media personnel on Ebola, a disease that is currently causing a nightmare across Africa. The occasion that gathered personel from both the print and electronic media was held at the National Nutrition Agency conference hall.

Speaking at the occasion, the head of Disease Control Unit, under the MOH&SW, Sanna Sambou said that their job is to coordinate disease control activities in the country. He noted that Ebola is a killer-disease, caused by a virus that spreads quickly from one person to another.

Informing the media about the risk of the virus, Sanna added that "since the virus spreads through direct contact with blood and other body secretions of an infected person, people living with and caring for the patients are at a high risk of getting infected."

The head of Disease Control Unit explained that infection can be prevented, through the use of gloves when handling affected patients.

According to him, Ebola can be transmitted through direct contact with wounds, body fluids, such as blood, saliva, stool and urine of a person suffering from the disease.

"Though the disease is not yet in the country," he noted, they are on elert and have a surveillance system in place that checks diseases entering the country. According to him, they want to make sure that they stay put in all the borders, so as to ensure that they know when the virus gets into the country.

The head of Disease Control Unit, under the MOH&SW also disclosed that WHO and the Ministry of Health have set up a national plan of action, in order to know how to resolve the Ebola situation. He noted that their plan of action has so many components, but noted that their first priority will be on the surveillance. For his part, the director of Health Promotion and Education MoH&SW Momodou Njai said as far as the Ebola virus is concerned his directorate under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare are doing all the necessary measures to prevent its outbreak. He said they are embarking on a public sensitisation about the dangers and harmful effect of the virus. According to him, their main target will be the children and others, who didn't know much about the disease. Njai then called on partners and stakeholders to come and support in sensitising the general public on Ebola, as he thanked WHO for their continuous support.

The deputy director of Health Promotion and Education, Muhammed Saho said that Ebola is a killer-disease that kills in a short period of time, as he urged the media to disseminate the information to the public.

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