Ebola vaccination heightens in Kambia
Sierra Leone, Freetown: The Health Education Officer at the District Health Medical Team (DHMT) in Kambia Hassan Kanu and the District Medical Officer say they are currently rolling out the second dose of the Ebola virus vaccine in the district.
Mr. Kanu, said that since they noticed the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, they took steps to ensure that the people of Kambia are safe together with the rest of the population in the country, as Kambia is close to Guinea.
The 2014/15 the Ebola outbreak killed over 4,000 people in Sierra Leone, and the Health Education Officer said that they have learnt their lessons and are working very hard to ensure it does not repeat.
“We were disappointed as a whole with regards to the number of people we lost. But based on our preparation, and what we are currently doing, we believe we will not have such a huge shock again in terms of deaths of the virus.”
He said “We have had the virus before and the people are now aware what to do when it comes to the preventive measures. What we are doing or what we did is to refresh their minds with regards to the do’s and don’ts when it comes to the Ebola virus.”
The Health Education Officer said after they got the news about the outbreak in Guinea, as a DHMT, they invited the necessary stakeholders in the community to an urgent meeting to see how they would plan for the deadly virus not to enter the shores of Sierra Leone.
In administering the vaccine, Mr. Kanu revealed, their main targets are the bike riders, the traditional healers and health workers. He noted that these people were very key in ensuring that the virus did not enter the country, as they are dealing with large number of people on a daily basis and it is better for them to be vaccinated first.
According to the District Healthy Sister 1 Kadie Bureh in Kambia, the Ebola vaccination process is ongoing but the pace at which people are coming for it is their concern for now.
“They are not coming as we expect them to come but we have found new strategies in order to let them come.” She said they will directly contact them through their mobile phones in order for them to take the complete dose.
“We think if we call them they will definitely come and take the vaccine. Some have already taken it starting with the health workers, so we will also target the bike riders and traditional healers.”
The DICOVERC Coordinator in Kambia Mohamed Dumbuya said they are taking the messages of both the EVD vaccine and that of the coronavirus to hard to reach areas in the District, amongst which is the different islands in their midst.
He urged the people of Kambia district to report to the appropriate authority in case of any suspected case of both viruses, and also called on the sick to visit the nearest health centre to get the necessary test in order for them to know their status. If you know your status it could be treated and cured, but if you don’t it poses danger for you.”