Country Director for UNDP Liberia, Kamil Kamaluddeen, on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 handed over 150 solar powered wind up radios to survivors of Ebola and vulnerable groups other people who have been affected financially by EVD in New Georgia in Montserrado County.
The President recently launched the “No New Ebola Case Campaign” campaign in New Georgia in recognition of the way in which residents came together to fight the disease.
Dr. Kamaluddeen said that a South African company, Lifeline Energy donated the radios, and UNDP wanted to show its support for the President's campaign by providing community members affected by Ebola with these radios.
“The Ebola crisis has shown us just how important information is. Liberia has an excellent network of radio stations and we want as many people as possible to be able to listen in to get the information they need,” he said.
The radios were handed over in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism. Deputy Minister of Information for Technical Services, Robert Kpadeh, thanked UNDP for their efforts to bring more information to people in New Georgia.
“While Ebola is still around, it's more important than ever that people have the opportunity to listen to news and programs that can inform them about how to prevent Ebola,” he said.
“It's also important for people to know the facts about Ebola, including the facts about contact with survivors. This donation from UNDP means that survivors and other community members can get information, but also be able to enjoy the programs and music that are provided on stations like UNMIL Radio and LBS.”
The radios are designed so that they can be used at any time without batteries or electricity. They are powered either by solar, where the user leaves the radio in the sun to charge, or they can be wind up.
More radios will be provided to other communities, and others have been provided to the Carter Centre which is coordinating listening groups around the country with a focus on combating corruption.
Receiving the radios on behalf of the over sixty (60) Ebola survivors in the community, Fody Gallah encouraged the government and partners not to relent in providing support and assistance to Ebola survivors.
Mr. Gallah said survivors, especially in the New Georgia Community are in need of financial and other forms of support.
He urged the government to ensure that people, mainly survivors of the Ebola virus disease are kept away from their families and communities for at least three months following their discharge from the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU).
Gallah, also an Ebola survivor said this measure will help in preventing Ebola survivors from further spreading the virus. He expressed appreciation to UNDP for the donation and promised that the radios will be used by survivors to access information and monitor programmes about Ebola.
Experts have repeatedly advised Ebola survivors to abstain from sex for at least three (3) months after being discharged from ETUs. The Ebola virus survives in the semen of a survivor up to ninety (90) days following treatment.
The senior pastor of the Church John Prosper Gharty said the radios will firstly be distributed among Ebola survivors in the community while the rest be given to elderly people in the area who may not have the means of purchasing radios.