Lutheran Church Takes Ebola Awareness To Bong, Lofa

The fight against the Ebola Virus in Liberia continues to receive support from international partners including Actalliance Liberia Forum through Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) and Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) national and non-governmental organizations operating in Liberia.

The move comes in the wake of the Ministry of health stepping up surveillance after there were reported cases over a week ago in neighboring Country Sierra Leone and other new cases closed to Liberia borders in Guinea where the Ebola Virus first broke out in the sub-region.

It is against this backdrop that the Ministry of health early last week began conducting series of training for health workers to be on the alert of any cases in Liberia with donors and humanitarian organizations donating safety gears to the ministry to beef up the fight against the Ebola Virus.

The latest organization to jump the fray in stepping surveillance against the Ebola Virus is the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) and the Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) the umbrella organization of the Lutheran Church in Liberia.

The Lutheran Church is among other religious organizations which has and continue to meaningfully contribute to central government in creating a suitable living condition of citizens through their humanitarian services provided across the Country for the past 50 years ago.

It is important to note that the Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) has been in the vanguard over the years providing humanitarian services to citizens in Nimba, Bong and Lofa Counties through counseling, trauma healing and health services among others.

With the Ebola Virus being reported in the Country, the faith based organization (LDS) has once more join the fight in making sure the Virus do not take root in the Country with the latest of providing training of trainers (ToT) to over seventy two people from Bong and Lofa Counties.

The participants which included Community and health workers were drawn from various Districts including Foya, Voinjama, Zorzor, Salayea, Sanoyea, Zota, Salala, Margibi and headquarters in Monrovia.

The two day training was provided by the Lutheran Development Service in Liberia (LDS) with support from five non-governmental organizations including Finn Church Aid (FCA), Church World Service (CWS), International Cooperation of Churches Organization (ICCO) and Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) as Actalliance Liberia Forum.

According to the Executive Director of the Lutheran Development Service Joseph S. Binda the training came as a result of reported cases of cases of the Ebola Virus in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Mr. Binda said the participants are expected to serve as trainer of trainees upon their return to their respective areas. Lutheran Development Service boss Joseph S. Binda is a Twenty two thousand United States Dollars (22,000 USD) Rapid Response Fund project that is expected to last for two months beginning June to July 2014. The funding came from Act Alliance in Geneva, Switzerland.

Speaking at the two day workshop, the head of Bong County Health Team Sampson Arzoaquoi said the training manifest government commitment to combating the Ebola Virus.

Mr. Arzoaquoi lauded Citizens for their cooperation in adhering to the preventive measures put in place by health authorities in Bong County to the extent that any dead reported in any of their areas were reported to health workers before taking over the burial process despite family links.

The Bong County t team boss used the medium to call on other Counties in Liberia to practice the example of the people of Bong County to ensure that the Ebola Virus is surely dealt with by not taking root in the Country.

He pledged the people of Bong County continue commitment to partnering with the Country health authorities in creating awareness on the Ebola Virus.

The facilitator of the two day training, Dr. Abiy Mulugeta Abebe, an Ethiopian and Medical Coordinator for International Rescue Committee (IRC) came from Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties as his assigned catchment in Liberia.

Dr. Abebe has been working with health institutions in East African Countries for so many years and has eleven years experience with outbreak diseases including Ebola Virus.

In his presentation, Dr. Abebe deliberated on several issues including how the Virus is spread which normally derived from birds and animals meanly bats and monkeys and is contracted by human beings.

Dr. Abebe lauded government for the level of preventive measures taken against the spread of the Ebola Virus in the Country.

He said unlike other Countries which has the outbreak of the disease which took away many lives Liberia case is different with the response of citizens in a positive manner to avoid the death toll like other countries.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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