Monrovia — To keep marketers safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Liberia Marketing Association, Inc. (LMA) in partnership with the First Responders Emergency Medical Services Association Inc. organized a workshop on preventing the spread of the virus. Thousands of marketers working in congested markets are at serious risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
First Responder Physician Assistant and Trainer Theophilus Fayiah lectured marketers on the disease, its signs and symptoms from material complied from UNICEF, WHO, the Wash Commission, the Environment Protection Agency, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia and the Ministry of Health.
He said the airborne disease incubates in the body for up to 14 days and causes serious respiratory distress. "Infected persons," he reported, "will cough persistently, sneeze, and have low fever."
"The droplets from the cough or sneeze can infect another person in close proximity," he said and added that a distance of six feet is recommended. He clarified that there is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, only treatment for the symptoms. Mr. Fayiah demonstrated proper hand washing techniques and emphasized that hand washing is an excellent way to prevent contracting and spreading the disease.
After the training, Senator Saah H. Joseph Montseraddo County District #13, founder of the First Responders Emergency Medical Services Association, Inc., and Ebola Response Hero, presented the LMA with a large consignment of water tanks and barrels for hand washing, thermometers, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves among others.
LMA President Alice Yeebahn expressed her appreciation for the donation. "We are grateful to God and we thank Senator Joseph for his contribution to the markets and the marketers."
Senator Joseph said he and his team will ensure that two water tanks are distributed and installed in each of LMA's 54 markets in Montseraddo County -- one at each entrance and exit.
"We want to work with the LMA," he added, "to keep marketers safe during the shutdown." He hoped to extend the consignment to Margibi County.
In the Ministry of Health's declaration of 21-day national emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, directed the Incident Management Team to work with the LMA to implement the protocols for all markets.
The LMA, in a meeting with the Ministry of Health, the Liberia National Police, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the National Security Agency, the General Services Agency on Monday said that it had established a Coronavirus Task Force to decongest the markets and enforce new disease prevention procedures.
The new policies include keeping children out of the markets, rotating the schedule of selling, reducing the numbers of marketers on each table, requiring hand sanitizer on each table, and keeping garbage in plastic bags. In addition, all agreed that markets would be closed on Sunday.
The Liberia National Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue told Marketer Superintendents that the LNP will decongest Red Light and other large markets in the coming days. GSA Boss, Mary Broh said that she will work with LMA Superintendents to ensure access to water supplies, and to install portable toilets. She urged the market leadership to organize a system to ensure the markets were kept clean.
After a thorough discussion on the coronavirus, the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah said, "We can beat the coronavirus if we all do what we are supposed to do."
The Liberia Marketing Association Inc. was established in 1976 by an Act of the National Legislature and printing into handbill in 1979 Ministry of Foreign Affairs. LMA has over 54 markets in Montserrado County, over 300 markets in the 15 counties and over 150,000 members across the country.
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