In an on-going school sensitisation and education exercise, the Programme Manager, School and Adolescent Health in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Patricia Bah has declared that the deadly nature of the Zarian type Ebola in the country has made it “borderless”.
She made this statement at the International Secondary School, while sensitising and educating students on the danger of the Ebola virus and the risk and danger of teenage pregnancy.
Madam Bah disclosed that the exercise is in two folds and is on-going in primary and secondary schools in the urban and rural parts of the country.
Ebola virus is a public health emergency and teenage pregnancy; she said is also a social challenge in the country.
Realising that some members of the public are still doubtful on the reality of Ebola, madam Bah explained that the education in schools will empower the children to further sensitise their parents, peers and the community they live, especially for children in rural communities whose parents cannot read and write.
The School and Adolescence, Programme Manager informed the International Secondary students that the Ebola and Teenage Pregnancy sensitisation is an on-going process which will continue noting that it is their right to have access to correct information which will save them from risk and early death; therefore it is the children’s responsibility to be change agents in the dissemination process.
Madam Bah commended the school administration for being proactive with both Ebola and Teenage Pregnancy issues, with regards to awareness raising among the students, and hope other schools will copy the same, which will further increase the Awareness that Ebola is real.
As it is done in all of the schools, the students received fact sheet on the mode of transmission, signs and symptoms, personal hygiene as well as the emergency line they should call, when there is a suspected case in their community.
On the issue of teenage pregnancy, Madam Bah stressed that as schools are about to go on holidays, most girls especially those in rural communities stand the risk of not going back to school when school re-opens as a result of becoming pregnant. She advised them that girls should be girls, and not mothers and that they should spend their holidays going over school work, rather than indulging themselves watching pornographic movies when mommy and daddy is out at work, or spending time with peers who do not impact positively on their lives.
The Programme Manager further advised that for them to stay out of trouble they should abstain from sex or that they use condom and other protective measure to avoid sexually transmitted diseases(STI’s).
Madam Bah concluded that above 50% of primary and secondary schools around the country will have been sensitised before the close for holidays and the process will continue when school re-opens and technical vocation including tertiary institutions will also be educated.
As a sign of commitment to be part of the sensitisation campaign, school authorities and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation should sign a memorandum of understanding for teachers to include Ebola and teenage pregnancy education in their family life education lessons.
By Ade Campbell
Thursday July 03, 2014