New campaign to educate West-Africans about Ebola - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

New campaign to educate West-Africans about Ebola

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 Nicole Brazier

PROVIDENCE - Although the Ebola virus isn't of immediate concern to Rhode Islanders the local Department of Health is teaming up with Liberian–American groups to battle the latest issue stemming from this deadly outbreak: a lack of proper information reaching those in Africa most affected by Ebola.

"It comes down to mistrust of government. That has been an issue. But people here have been very effective in terms of letting their loved ones know about what is going on," said Komlan Soe, a local Liberian activist and member of RI Youth of Liberia.

The Health Department is piggybacking on those communications by creating a new "Call 5" campaign, encouraging all Liberians in the ocean state to talk to at least 5 people from their homeland on the phone, and give them a list of do's and don't's when it comes to the prevention of the disease.

"The thing is that people here are more trusted back home because they are the breadwinners of the people back home in Liberia so their voices are taken seriously," said Soe.

Local Liberian groups have been collecting sanitary supplies to send overseas for the prevention of Ebola.

They'll be using trusted non–profits to get the donations to the people so that the issue of mistrust doesn't stop them from receiving the proper supplies.
"We have been in contact with trusted organizations like the Liberian Nurses Association and Samaritan's Purse.... so we work with them and they help us distribute and pass on the relevant information that needs to be given out to the people," he said.

The Department of Health is conducting a meeting with local Liberian groups tonight from 6-8pm at St. Paul's Church on Elmwood Avenue in Providence.

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