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City of Banjul
Monday, September 28, 2020

US charge d’affaires says sensitisation, team work key to fight Ebola

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At a lunching of the US Embassy -sponsored Ebola song, which is launched as part efforts to educate and sensitise the public, he said: “Vigilance, knowledge, and education are critical in keeping The Gambia Ebola free. While the deadliness of Ebola is terrifying, the good news is transmission of Ebola is in fact difficult. What is most important is to provide the public the requisite knowledge about how to prevent the spread of Ebola.  The fight against Ebola, both prevention and treatment is a team effort. We see what the government of The Gambia, led by the Ministry of Health, is doing. We heard about the world health organisation’s latest initiatives. Only by coming together can we win the fight against Ebola. The US Embassy wants to help, we are here as a partner in the fight against Ebola. While we are brainstorming about how to become involved, we focus on our belief that there was no more powerful way to spread information- especially in The Gambia- than the radio and music. As such, we are proud today to be releasing ‘The Ebola Song’ a song in Mandinka, Wolof, and English featuring some of the best musicians from throughout the country. The song explains how to avoid Ebola, further bringing education to the Gambian public about the disease. The United States has enjoyed a long partnership with The Gambia, friendships, however, are not limited to come together during good times, rather they are defined by unifying during difficult times. We are here to work with The Gambia during this challenging time, to be part of a team to educate the public and to keep The Gambia Ebola free.”

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The song is adapted from a track released by the US Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone by three Sierra Leonean artistes and performed by four rising Gambian artists in the names of Baddibunka, Cess Ngum, Killar Ace, and Sandeng with kora back up by Amadou Suso.

For his part, the WHO representative, Dr Sargoe Moses said: “This launching shows that if we work together we can make a difference. The song is about hope, hope in the midst of challenge or difficulty. Ebola can kill, and what we do is to protect ourselves to prevent Ebola. We can protect families and make our nations and The Gambia Ebola-free. The song is hope to the people of The Gambia that if we can do basic personal hygienic hand washing we can protect ourselves; if we can stay away from those that die from Ebola, we can protect ourselves. People who report Ebola early to health facilities do not die of Ebola. They are able to make it, so going to hospital is important. For now the country is free from Ebola and we have to maintain that and the responsibly lies with you and me”.

While thanking the US Embassy for the initiative, health minister Omar Sey said: “Schools are opening, so we are wondering what to do in ensuring that a clear message is transmitted to schools, so we couldn’t have done better than this. This is very dear to my heart. We have schoolchildren who went on vacation and we do not know where. The messages have to be clear and hope the song will allay the fear of Ebola.  The only challenge we have to allay the fear from the public. Yes, Ebola can kill but the issue is it can be prevented. He urges the radio stations to play the song on their respective stations to so that people can you have know what you are preventing.”

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