At the launching ceremony, Wednesday, permanent secretary at MoHERST, Dr Cherno Omar Barry said: “In the midst of a crisis as grave and deadly as Ebola, the world is jolted to reality and the urgent need to save lives has brought together sound minds to seek for the ultimate solutions. It is announced that many inventions have been made including a possible vaccine for the virus. In such a serious situation, many ideas stand afloat and the best minds try to suggest better solutions. However, it is not how many ideas you have but how many you make happen.
“It is clear that this institution has made The Gambia proud in the past mostly for what it is commonly known, imparting technical and vocational skills among our youthful population. The GTTI has not accepted to limit itself as a follower, in borrowing and adapting training courses, but it has grown to be a leader not only in producing the best innovators but also by distinguishing itself as a leader in skills and innovation. We are conscious of the crucial need to have a form of hand washing bay, or tank with disinfectant to help us adhere to one major rule in the prevention of Ebola – washing our hands. So what makes the difference between those innovations and what GTTI has produced today, is certainly its originality. It is therefore obvious that such an innovation has added meaning to our safety and surely that makes it an original discovery.”
GTTI director general, Jahou Samba Faal, warned: “We should not be complacent. Ebola is real; one of the commonest ways it can be easily spread is through our social interaction by way of our culturally revered handshake. As an institution of learning where the public space is wide and social interaction very common, the introduction of a hand washing facility can contribute immensely to the prevention of the spread of the virus. The GTTI is one of the largest educational institutions in The Gambia with a population of over 2,500 students and staff. On a daily basis, an average of over 500 students, staff and the general public interact at the GTTI. This is a good reason why personal hygiene with or without Ebola should be observed.
“We have seen how Ebola has devastated dreams, families, societal structures, economies across countries, culture and race. The more reason why Ebola should be everybody’s business! The Gambia has so far been declared ‘Ebola Free’ and it is therefore the responsibility of everybody for it to remain so. The government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and our international partners has taken the lead to create awareness and to constantly sensitise the public on preventive measures to adapt to the challenges.”
For his part, the director of health promotion and education at the Ministry of Health, Momodou Njai enunciated: “It is important to note that hand-washing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent infections, which take the lives of millions of people especially children in developing countries. Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses from the common cold to more serious infections, such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, the flu, hepatitis A, trachoma, most types of infectious diarrhea and the Ebola of which this GTTI hand washing facility is dedicated to prevent. Scientifically, evidence suggests that improved hand washing can have a major impact on public health in any country and significantly reduce the two leading causes of childhood mortality diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection. Of recent, hand washing if promoted in the fight against Ebola infection especially after touching fluids of an Ebola infected person or dead body.”]]>