On Saturday, June 6, 2015, the Liberia National Red Cross Society donated 500 hands washing Ebola buckets, four containers of chlorine and 50 pieces of thermometers to Jenemah town and Pujehum District in Sierra Leone. Jenemah town is located at the Liberia and Sierra Leone borders to Bo-water side.
The donation followed a request made by residents of the town through Lt. Col. Charles V. Brooks during a visit on Friday by the Red Cross along with other partners. The visit was intended to find out whether the health protocols were being practiced at the Liberia and Sierra Leone borders.
“Although Liberia has been declared Ebola free, Red Cross continues to encourage Liberians to keep preventative actions to remain safe. As long as Sierra Leone and Guinea continue to report new confirmed cases, Liberia must remain vigilant and supportive to its EVD response effort” the Secretary General for the Liberian Red Cross has said.
Mr. FayiahTamba added “In Grand Cape Mount County, Red Cross volunteers are still conducting active surveillance at check points and in communities on the border, reaching almost 2,000 people daily”.
The volunteers are also undertaking direct community engagement with sixteen borders communities, promoting ongoing Ebola safety measures, and anti-stigma awareness.
He continues: while we begin to talk about recovery, we cannot do so at the expense of continuous response mechanisms. We have to be able to maintain an efficient and effective level of response in order to bring this disease to an end. This requires adequate resources strategically positioned to affect a timely response when new confirmed cases arise.
He pointed out that there is an urgent need to support those who have survived Ebola as well as affected communities and households as they begin to rebuild their lives. Red Cross recovery programming will aim to restore households not only back to where they were before the outbreak, but assist them in becoming more resilient to future risks and epidemics, Mr. Tamba concluded.
The Red Cross was present in Liberia before the Ebola outbreak and we will continue to be here after the outbreak when many other responders will have gone. Our dedicated volunteers will continue to support Liberian people and communities as they recover and become better equip to deal with parallel health and humanitarian challenges, such as measles, malaria and water-borne diseases.
The Liberian Red Cross believes that as long as Sierra Leone and Guinea are still experiencing cases of Ebola, Liberia will not sit and allow its neighboring countries being tumbledown by the virus.
Grand Cape Mount County Superintendent, TennehKpedebah termed the donation as historical and said Sierra Leone’s problem is also Liberia’s problem.
Supt. Kpedebah lauded the Red Cross for the swift response, noting that the organization has been doing its best in addressing humanitarian crisis in Liberia.
She encouraged the citizens to keep practicing the preventive protocols and believe that with other partners support, Sierra Leone too will be Ebola free.
Mohamed Sam Kpaka , a local Health Officer in the area, received the items on behalf of the towns and people of the district . Kpaka said the donation was a very good help the Red Cross rendered them in Sierra Leone.
He said the gesture shows that Liberia and Sierra Leone bear one another problems and promised that the items will be monitored to ensure the proper use.
The donation was timely and overwhelming; Red Cross was the first humanitarian organization to quickly respond to the needs of the people at the border.