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Ebola

Fighting the outbreak

© UNICEF
Côte d'Ivoire: One man's motivation to keep Ebola out

 

With few resources but much resolve, two social workers in Côte d’Ivoire travel far and wide to educate communities on keeping free of the virus, even as an epidemic rages just across the border.

In a concrete courtyard surrounded by multi-family homes in a crowded neighbourhood in Man, Côte d’Ivoire, Koné Disso greets the family he has come to see. With both hands in the air, he puts on a smile and says, “I greet you like this now! Remember, Ebola!”

Everyone laughs, but there is still an awkward moment as social workers Koné and his Ebola prevention education partner Sialou Kouamé sit down on a bench and begin to share les nouvelles, or “the news” – the opening conversation that is part of any social visit in Côte d’Ivoire, the chat before getting down to business.

Today’s business is not so new. For months, Ebola awareness campaigns have been airing on radio and television. Pop songs have been written about the disease, its signs and symptoms, and how to avoid transmission. Ring tones can be heard in markets advising against shaking hands, eating bush meat or touching the sick or dead.

Forty-nine year-old Miriam Doumbia sits across from Koné, her niece translating from Koné’s French to her local Malinké dialect. She carries a baby in her lap, and her family is crowded around her, listening.

“Since I was born, I've never even heard of this disease,” Mama Doumbia says. “But now we hear about it all the time. What is this disease that keeps us from touching our sick?” Read more about the Ebola fight


Spreading the word about Ebola

Below is a small selection of the many visual examples that are being used in West Africa to disseminate information about the outbreak.

 


In 2014 in Liberia, a poster, among those being distributed by UNICEF, bears information and illustrations on the symptoms of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and best practices to help prevent its spread. Such preventative practices include washing one’s hands with soap and clean water; visiting a health clinic if one experiences a headache, fever, vomiting, pain, diarrhoea, red eyes or a rash; and avoiding risky behaviours such as touching people who have signs of the disease.


© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1058/Dunlop

Joseph Kamara, a pharmacist at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone, holds a poster bearing information on the symptoms of Ebola virus disease and best practices to prevent its spread. The poster is among those UNICEF has produced for distribution as part of social mobilization efforts. “Not everybody thinks this disease is real,” said Mr. Kamara. “When they don’t see it, they don’t believe it, but I see it every day when I come here. I know 20 people in Kenema who have died. We are fighting a war. I have a strong heart, but I have cried a lot.”
 

In April 2014 in Liberia, the screen of a mobile phone shows an SMS text message containing information on the symptoms of Ebola virus disease (EVD), in Monrovia, the capital. UNICEF has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to develop key messages about EVD to disseminate via mobile phone.


© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1029/Lumeh

In 2014 in Liberia, a poster, among those being distributed by UNICEF, bears information and illustrations on the symptoms of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and best practices to help prevent its spread. Persons believing themselves to be infected are warned to avoid contact with others, to call a health worker and to follow any instructions given



 


 

 

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