The Gambia: Union sets up Ebola preparedness and response programme
Education International has contributed financially to an Ebola prevention strategy in The Gambia. It has helped to fund a communications initiative led by its national affiliate, the Gambia Teachers’ Union.
“Although an Ebola-free country, The Gambia’s preparedness and response plan requires the participation of each and every one of us in the fight against this deadly disease,” stressed Marie Antoinette Corr-Jack, General Secretary of the Gambia Teachers’ Union (GTU) and board member of the Education and Solidarity Network (ESN), the International Coalition for social protection.
An effective Ebola prevention strategy is absolutely vital, said Corr-Jack, because of the high number of students with whom teachers interact and the high numbers of Senegalese-born students in Gambian schools close to the border.
The objectives of this GTU programme, reaching schools in all seven GTU regions, through 21 clusters, are, amongst others, to:
· Update teachers and society at large about the outbreak of the highly contagious disease
· Advise them on available tools, guidelines and strategies for the prevention and containment of the virus
· Support national efforts in meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations on Ebola
T-shirts bearing the slogan “Together we can prevent Ebola” were printed, and GTU developed Information, Education and Communication, as well as Behavioural Change and Communication, campaign materials.
As of January 2015, at least 7,533 people had died from the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, according to the WHO. The total number of known cases is 19,374.