SIERRA LEONE NEWS: DISABLED PERSONS BENEFIT FROM EBOLA EDUCATION
By Ade Campbell
Tuesday September 30, 2014
Disabled persons in two Freetown communities have benefited from food and money as part of an Ebola education exercise from the charity Christmas 4 Street Kids Foundation, and the Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.
The beneficiaries are less privileged persons residing at the House of Jesus on Wallace-Johnson Street, and of the Help Empower Polio Persons Organisation (HEPPO) at the old Public Words Department yard on Pademba Road.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Christmas 4 Street Kids Foundation, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Ebun Strasser-King, explained that each year at Christmas her organisation feeds street children in the central part of Freetown, and provides them with gifts, as she said Christmas is a time of giving and a chance to show these children that someone cares.
She said because of the present Ebola crisis, she thought it would be wise to engage vulnerable families and households immediately in the communities where her foundation operates.
In preparing for this new challenge, she consulted her diplomatic colleague and friend, Madam Gladys Adebiyi, who is Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, and someone who has compassion for the less privileged.
Together, Madam Strasser-King and High Commissioner Adebiyi decided to organise the Ebola education exercise for persons with disabilities in the two communities, and to provide them with food, considering that during this difficult time most of them cannot fend for themselves and their families. Also attending the education exercise were the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijueh Kaikai, and his deputy, Mustapha Bai Attila. Both of them commended the gesture of the Christmas 4 Kids foundation and the Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone. They noted that while the food items were important, it was also important to educate vulnerable people on the dangers of Ebola, including the do’s and don’ts of infection prevention and control of the disease.
The two ministers informed the beneficiary households of Government’s intention to improve living conditions for every Sierra Leonean, with special attention to vulnerable groups.
They urged the disabled families to respect and listen to the messages coming from government, especially from health workers, and to report all suspected case of Ebola to the nearest health facility.
Members of family households at Wallace-Johnson Street and Pademba Road were very appreciative of the donations, noting that their knowledge on the hazards of Ebola had improved. They said they will in turn educate other members of the community, in order to break the chain of transmission of the disease.