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Page added on August 26, 2012
Freetown: 23rd August, 2012/The Presidential Task Force on Cholera met 23rd August at State House for the second time to streamline and scale up response to the cholera outbreak and spread in most parts of the country.
According to Dr Kaifala Marrah, about 12,000 cases have been reported in eleven districts and the Western Area with the exception of Koinadugu and Kenema.
He called for a coordinated response to combat the disease bearing in mind the limited resources at the disposal of government.
The Minister of Health, Madam Haja Zainab Hawa Bangura noted that the Task Force should be prepared to face the challenges likely to come up with the reopening of schools when school children could be at risk taking into consideration the unsanitary state in which food is normally sold to school children.
The DFID Representative at the meeting disclosed that DFID has pledged3 million dollars as well as technical assistance or experts to help in the fight against cholera in Sierra Leone.
Representative of USAID based in Conakry said that the cholera outbreak in Guinea is the worst spike in 12 years. She noted that with the network of NGOs the country will help disseminate key messages on symptoms, prevention, transmission and causes of cholera, especially in high risk areas.
According to the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, there are equipment at the quay about to be discharged to augment the process, about 1,200 volunteers, 10 tons of equipment coming into the country within the next two days, and they have also met with the District Health Teams in a number of districts to map out strategies on the way forward. They have ordered 500 tons of chlorine to enhance the process of chlorination and disinfection of water for especially treatment centres across the country.
William Sao Lamin, representative of Health Alert, a local NGO in the field of advocacy for the health of the population, revealed their plans to engage local artists in the campaign against cholera in Sierra Leone. They hope to use not just public address systems but also local musicians to effectively disseminate the key messages on the spread of cholera and how to prevent and cure it among the population.
“How would we harmonise financial resources from our development partners as well as from the GOSL? How would these resources be disbursed? How would we track the disbursement of the resources available to combat the spread of the disease? How would we create and enhance synergy among all stakeholders? What would be the reporting timelines? To declare immediate activities and who will be dealing and executing what?”, Dr Kaifala Marrah, State House Chief of Staff enquired.
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