The people of Sierra Leone are used to fighting a killer disease – Ebola ravaged the country only a few years ago, so they know only too well how important it is to be prepared.
We have been asked to support the hospital and district with funds for training and to purchase local PPE items for the 68 Peripheral Health Units, these include Veronica Buckets, liquid soap and disinfectant. These items will be used to set up hand washing stations on the Wards, at each of the PHUs and at checkpoints throughout the district. A Veronica bucket is a large bucket with a tap fixed at the bottom and held above a bowl serving as a simple way to encourage proper hand washing. It was invented by a Ghanaian, Veronica Bekoe, whom the invention was named after.
A Veronica bucket in use
A border checkpoint
In addition, we have also been asked to support the training of approximately 160 personnel on IPC (Infection Prevention and Control). These include Security personnel (Military and Police), Immigration Officers, and health workers based at all the PHUs. This training will support people working at the entry points along the Guinea – Sierra Leone border to educate people entering the country on the importance of thorough hand-washing and IPC measures, including social distancing.
Training at the 11th Battalion Canton in Kambia
The Guinea/Sierra Leone border is a busy crossing point, Sierra Leoneans regularly visit the large Guinea markets, where cheaper imported goods from China are available. Many families living near the border have relatives in Guinea and vice versa, sadly Guinea has a lot more reported cases than Sierra Leone currently, so the DHMT are very aware of the need for good infection prevention and control measures at all the entry points.
Sister Hawa explains hand washing procedure