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Sierra Leone News: SOS Country Directory unimpressed with Ebola sensitization

vvThe Country Director of Social Organization Society (SOS), Olatungie Woode has said that he is not impressed with the way and manner sensitization is going on in Ebola affected areas in the country.
Assessing his latest visit to Kenema recently, he observed that a lot of socialization still continues in Kenema which he maintained is a serious concern over the impact of the sensitization on the people in the district.
Woode made this observation during his fact finding visit to Kenema on Thursday, August 21 2014. He said the purpose of his visit to Kenema is to evaluate the effect of Ebola on children in the eastern region.
He said he has got information from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) as partner that lots of children have been affected in the region and that they need immediate attention. He said SOS as a child welfare organization would care to intervene as soon as possible to help out these children.
He said he has been adequately briefed by social service providers on the situation on the ground and monitored the distribution of food items provided by SOS worth Le 20, 000, 000 (twenty million Leones).
He indicated that when the epidemic is contained his organization will look into the affairs of children orphaned by the Ebola virus by offering them an alternative home in SOS villages across the country. He said his organization is concerned about the welfare and maintenance of these children, noting that given the situation of those orphaned children it now that they needed care and protection more than ever.
Mr. Woode disclosed that they have SOS villages in Bo, Makeni and Freetown and suggested that concerned children in Kenema would likely be transferred to the SOS village in Bo which is the nearest in terms of vicinity.
He reminded his audience that the Ebola virus and disease is a reality and that denial of this reality is one of the major causes for the spread of the disease in the country.
He called on all and sundry to take Ebola issue seriously by adhering to the prevention guidelines publicized by the government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and development partners.
He maintained that despite the quarantine situation in Kenema, lots of social activities are still going on.
“This is very worrying as these socialization activities are sources for the spread of the virus through human to human contact,” he noted, stating the rise in infection cases in the district cannot be unconnected with these socialization activities
“Once these activities continue unabated, it will be very difficult to contain the spread and contagion of the Ebola virus,” Woode pointed out.
Representing the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, the Deputy Chief Social Services Officer, Joseph Sunday Sinnah said he was with the SOS team to get first-hand information on children orphaned by the viral spread and to assess their needs so as to be able to mobilize resources for a much needed intervention aimed at preserving their welfare.
Sinnah emphasized the need to protect children “that are seriously traumatized by incidents such as the EBbola virus that has rid them of their parents and loved ones,” he stated, adding that by providing the children with such care, it will help hem rebuild their lives which could otherwise be shattered by their being orphaned and destitute.
He disclosed that rice, sugar, bucket, cup, tooth paste, toilet and laundry soap are among the items supplied to the affected children.
He said the was impressed about the visit being that they have not only seen the children, but they have also identified their special needs and have engaged partners on how to help the children.
“Let us all come together to support the children and women affected by the Ebola virus as well as other children,” he appealed.
The visiting team paid visit to some of the quarantined areas in the city of Kenema including Aruna Street, where seven compounds including the Lambayama motel are quarantined, Lamin Kosia street and Nyandeyama sections among others.
By Saffa Moriba
Tuesday August 26, 2014

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