The emergency situation has had a massive impact on public life, with bans on foreign travel, schools closed, and the prohibition of gatherings of more than ten people. Football is of course affected too: the domestic championship had been suspended since the state of emergency was declared seven months ago.
Despite this, the power of football has contributed to a slight easing of the crisis. The “ll against Ebola” campaign launched by FIFA Chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak – and backed by the World Bank, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and international health experts – is helping to inform and educate people about how to deal with the insidious illness. The crucial elements are seemingly banal things like correctly washing and disinfecting one’s hands, avoiding bodily contact with affected persons, not handling the bodies of the deceased, safer sex, recognising the symptoms and seeing a doctor at once in the event of fever with Ebola symptoms.
The messages delivered by football stars including Ronaldo, Neymar, Philip Lahm, Xavi, Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel and Gareth Bale via radio and TV spots and billboards in public places.
However, in the first instance it required the initiative of a courageous woman to draw attention of any sort to the devastating situation: Isha Johansen, president of the Sierra Leone FA and one of the only two women in the world at the head of a national association, turned to FIFA last year with a cry for help, conscious that football reaches people from all social classes and ethnic groups: “Football is like a religion to us. People would rather not eat than do without their football”, she said.
“II against Ebola” has already has a positive impact. But in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the battle against the epidemic is not yet won. For this reason I can promise we will under no circumstances scale back our efforts. Africa’s fate is our fate too.
Joseph Umaru Deen Koroma foundation boosts 4 Communities
By Maddieu A A T Kabbah
As Sierra Leone is fast approaching the end to fight the against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the Josepgh Umaru Deen Koroma Foundation at the weekend engaged in a community to community campaign by supporting communities with some materials and seed money to keep the communities going.
According to the Chairman of the Joseph Umaru Deen Koroma Foundation, Sullay C. Kamara since the outbreak of the Ebola virus the foundation has been fully engaged in the sanitization campaign by educating people about the dangers of the virus and also providing medical needs for their communities.
“Now that we are approaching the end of the Ebola virus the Foundation thought it fit through the wisdom of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to encourage the youth that there is still life after Ebola by providing them with a full set of football gears plus seed money as a way of up keeping the communities,” he explained.
He said the Foundation will soon start what he referred to as the “Ebola Recovery Process” in which, he said they will visit the different communities to explain to them about the Ebola recovery process which has to do with a lot of education and as a foundation they are currerntly strategizing how to kick-start the project.
He said their first donation targeted four communities, Aberdeen Road, Thompson Bay, Dorkorty and Cockrill communities in the Western Area and they are expecting to do the same in other communities.
According to Alimamy Turay one of the youth leader at the Aberdeen Raod community said they were very much proud and blessed to received such donation from the foundation and that they were very grateful to the Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Umaru Deen Koroma for bringing development to their communities, whilst assuring the foundation that the donations will be used judiciously.
“As young people, we are proud of the good work of the Joseph Umaru Deen Koroma Foundation. Over the past years, they have really demonstrated that they are here to contribute towards the development of the country,” the youth leader maintained.