With daily increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Liberia, Carter Center in partnership with the Ministry of Health, National Public Health Institute of Liberia, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, respectively is training 150 traditional leaders in Maryland County on how to prevent spread of the virus, especially in rural communities. The training brought together 19 paramount chiefs, 38 clan chiefs and 94 general town chiefs, respectively.
Speaking Thursday, June 25thday four of the exercise in Boniken, Karluway district, the Project officer for Carter Center Maryland, said the training is aimed at educating traditional leaders across the entire county about preventive health measures in order to educate their people. Mr. Michael Biddle, said the training will last for six days (June 22 to June 27) targeting allthree districts of Maryland.
“We had started in Harper District at the City hall on Monday, June 22, 2020 and today, June 25, we are in Karluway district, Karloken City and next is Barrobo. I think this will serve as means of spreading the preventive messages to our people in those various towns.As you’re getting this knowledge today, you should teach your people in the towns; don’t keep it to yourselves”, he told the trainees.
Mr. Biddle noted the basic information being provided are the same training the Ministry of Health has been providing to citizens across Liberia, including transmission from person to person, hands washing, wearing nose masks and social distancing, among others. “As you can see, our Country’s cases increasing on a daily basis; it shows that everyone needs to work now.”
In response, traditional leaders commended Carter Center and the various government institutions for the intensive training, which they noted would serve as a motivation to return and teach their people about the pandemic.
Mr. Nelson Neal, head of the traditional leaders in Maryland County said, “We have achieved an added knowledge, and I think, we are forced to share the knowledge with our people.” However, he stressed the need for more awareness on the virus, particularly preventive measures to stay safe.
By Patrick N. Mensah, from Maryland –Editing by Jonathan Browne