The President Pro- Tempore of the Liberia Senate and senior senator of Grand Bassa County, Gbehzongar M. Findley, has launched a 15,000 Liberian Dollars ‘stop Ebola spread’ competition among communities in the county.
A press release issued by the Press Attache` to the Pro-Tempore said, as part of the competition any clan or community reporting no new cases of Ebola within 42 days will receive a cash award of 15,000 Liberian Dollars.
The competition was announced Wednesday during a meeting of chiefs and traditional leaders in compound district #1, Grand Bassa County. The release said the objective of the competition is to ensure that citizens take full preventive initiatives to stopping the spread of the deadly outbreak in the county.
Quoting Senator Findley, the release said, fighting the deadly outbreak requires the collective effort of all – from the grassroots to the highest level in the society, adding that Ebola virus does not discriminate and need the full cooperation of chiefs, elders, and traditional leaders to serve as front liners in the fight to eradicate the virus from Liberia. The Pro-Tempore said some ways of eradicating the virus is to stop strangers from staying in towns, and villages.
“If anyone stays in his community for 42 days period and people avoid physical contacts, I believe we can conquer this virus, because we must all fight to win this battle against this deadly outbreak by sticking to the rules and taking additional steps to stop the virus”, he added.
According to the Pro-Tempore, one common traditional practice is sharing of kola nuts by traditional people while performing traditional rites, noting that “during this period, a kola nut is bitten by one person and passed on to several others to take a bite, but I describe this practice as dangerous because saliva from an infected person might remain on the half kolanut that was passed on to the rest of the group.”
He said if these measures are not taken, Ebola will continue to spread, because the virus does not kill people who do not come in contact with it so the only way to prevent Ebola is to keep it out of the community. He said during the 42 days period, a team will monitor the various clans to ensure that the sum of money goes to the most compliant communities.
Meanwhile, Pro-Tempore Findley, who also donated a consignment of drugs, including malaria pills, pain killers, and antibiotics to several health centers and various households in the county, said the effort will help the people to fight against the virus as in district # 1 where the meeting was held, is one of the hardest hit in the county with four deaths out of six confirmed cases since August this year.