IOM launches second phase of Ebola Free Ghana

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday launched the second phase of its programme to support Ghana’s efforts to keep the country free from Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) at Prampram.

The second phase focuses on community mobilization to empower community leaders to raise awareness and increase their communities’ knowledge on the causes, symptoms and modes of prevention of EVD in order to positively promote behaviour change.

Speaking at the launch, Papa Kwaw Mensah, IOM Programme Manager, said awareness campaigns including the distribution of information materials, comic strips, radio messages and community meetings have been planned.

“Over 160,000 US dollars will be spent on community mobilization by the end of December 2015, targeting around 30 communities located at or linked to the eight points of entry (POE)”

He said community leaders would be trained to better recognise signs and symptoms of Ebola and to follow a basic procedure for referring all such cases to the nearest health institution.

“The same message will then be taken to communities in each project district and also disseminate through local radio and other media. The district medical personnel will serve as the Resource Persons.”

According to him, during the first phase of the programme, IOM organized 16 two-day training workshops to build the capacity of over 740 officials from the Port Health, Ghana Immigration and Customs to combat the spread of EVD at the Kotoka International Airport, Tema Port, Takoradi Port, Elubo, Aflao, Sampa, Hamile and Paga, all POEs.

“The training included presentations on the impact of EVD, surveillance for EVD and the Recognise, Isolate, Notify and Give Support (RING) approach, preparedness, infection prevention, control and standard operating procedures,” he said.

He said the project has so far donated assorted equipment and computers valued at 90,000 dollars to various institutions including the Ebola Centre at the Tema General Hospital.

They included over 100 full PPE suits; 54 non-contract infra-red thermometers; 56,000 pairs of disposable hand gloves; 35,900 face masks; 185 disposable aprons; 14 knapsack sprayers; 26 Veronica bucket systems; 8 computers and printers; and quantities of bleach, alcohol disinfectant, hand sanitizers, and washing soap. GNA

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