Speaking on Thursday, August 11 at a day-long Community Engagement forum with religious leaders, EVD survivors, women, youth and community leaders in the Cow Field community in the Monrovia suburb of Paynesville, Mr. Daniel Bumie of the Liberia Crusaders for Peace (LCP) stressed that Ebola survivors are not harmful and should not be resented by residents of communities in which they live.
According to a statement issued here Saturday, Cow Field Community was one of the epicenters of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), thus compelling health authorities to quarantine the community.
Bumie indicated that at no time has it been reported that people who survived the Ebola disease have infected members of the public with the EVD.
Mr. Bumie whose boss Ambassador Juli Endee serves as Pillar Lead on Community Engagement for PREVAIL, urged community leaders to educate citizens to accept EVD survivors to promote harmony and peaceful coexistence adding “these people should be considered as heroes because in the event of any future outbreak they will help to ameliorate the outbreak since they are now immune to the EVD.”
After explaining in detail the essence of the Ebola Natural History Study (ENHS) and providing information on the enrollment process of Ebola survivors and their close contacts, Mr. Bumie pleaded with community people to encourage EVD survivors who are yet to enroll in the ENHS to do so saying, "several sub-studies have also been introduced by PREVAIL to cater to special medical complications being faced by Ebola survivors including eye, nerve, still birth, body and joint pains."
Also in remarks at the forum, PREVAIL Lead on Advocacy, Mr. Joseph Boye Cooper who focused his presentation on the Birth Cohorts and Semen Collection sub-studies, said he was placing emphasis on the Birth Cohorts because it has been revealed that many female Ebola survivors are now giving birth to babies and that it was necessary that they join the Birth Cohorts sub-study to prevent medical complications including still-birth and miscarriage during pregnancy.
Mr. Cooper disclosed that since female Ebola survivors began enrolling in the Birth Cohort sub-study, there has been no report of still-birth or miscarriage among them (female Ebola survivors) as was the case in the past time.
Mr. Cooper also called on community leaders and residents to encourage male Ebola survivors who enrolled in the ENHS to go to the Duport Road Health Center and enroll in the Semen Collection sub- study, to know their health status.