Since February, Ebola has claimed almost 1,000 lives and infected more than 1,700 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak an international public health emergency.A concerned group of medical professionals, faculty and students, and concerned community members from around Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey are working to get medical supplies to affected areas and, just as crucially, spearheading education campaigns both in the African diaspora and on the ground in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Their education efforts in Sierra Leone and Guinea are being assisted by two Mandela Washington Fellows from the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The fellows, Abu Bakarr Conteh of Sierra Leone and Sékou Mansare of Guinea are supporting the initiative on the ground by distributing information and resources using their community based networks. The initiative is spearheaded by Dr. Mafunia Suaray of Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and class members of Rutgers’ Department of Africana Studies’ Pan-African Movement course.
African Health Network Public Service Announcements
The Centers for Disease Control in the USA also provides up-to-date information on the epidemic HERE.
Local Language Public Service Message
This PSA coming out of Sierra Leone is crafted as the story of how when Ebola first struck a village deep in a West African forest region, residents did what they had always done for any mysterious illness—they consulted the traditional healer. But the herbalist soon caught one of the world’s most contagious diseases, and then became a source for spreading it as visitors streamed in.
The spread of Ebola has shown that we must respect that local people have their traditional beliefs and their traditional cures and they look up to their traditional leaders. To stop the spread of this outbreak we must involve and educate all stakeholders.
Information for Health Care Workers