As the number of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) victims in Liberia exceeds the two thousand mark with no signs of abating, the Catholic Church in Liberia and partners yesterday began two days intensive training sessions for health care and non-health care workers on the best available approaches in dealing with the disease.
The Catholic Church announced early this week that the seminar-like training, which takes place on the campus of the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences (MPCHS) of the Stella Maris Polytechnic in Monrovia, with 50 participants including Catholic Health workers, instructors, parishioners, priests, and catechists. The training of trainers (ToT) workshop is part of strategies of the Church to reach out to the greater Liberian population in communities across the Archdiocese of Monrovia and the two other dioceses of Gbarnga and Cape Palms thus effectively covering a signification portion of the citizenry.
Sr. Barbara Brillant FMM, National Catholic Health Council Coordinator, said the anti-Ebola education sessions will last for two days, with visiting infectious diseases expert Dr. Timothy Flanigan serving as key facilitator.
Sr. Barbara said the ToT will focus on four main areas of concentration. “The training will be an opportunity for participants to be aware of the best information available to date in dealing with the disease and will concentrate mainly on four key areas: support to those who have recovered from the disease, prevention and community outreach, reopening and care of Catholic health centers, and pastoral support at burial sites. She said the training will also reinforce the Church’s desire to protect health care workers and staff. “We already have in country PPE’s including anti-Ebola gloves, masks, overalls, soap, bleach, thermometers and other items that are being immediately given out to staff members.” She then disclosed that all staff and logistics of the MPCHS have been committed and deployed to the anti-Ebola response of the Church to support the government in fighting the disease.
Seminar lead facilitator Dr. Timothy Flanigan said the training will be done within the framework and protocol of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare guidelines. “The epidemic is still going up and will be hard to control because of the close living conditions in Monrovia” and so this training is essential in empowering the people to work in their own parishes, communities, and families.