Senegal: government and church leaders warn against panic over Ebola

science | Sep 04, 2014 | By Martin Barillas

A letter from Vicar General Fr. Alphonse Seck of the Catholic Bishops of Senegal urged all Senegalese to remain calm yet vigilant, following the discovery that the first case of the first discovery of the presence of the virus in the country was announced by the government on August 29. The August 30 letter from the bishops calls for general calm in the population and is asking parish priests, as well as all religious working within the health system, to educate those in their care about the symptoms and appropriate response to the virus that has killed hundreds in West Africa in recent months. “Let us be vigilant together and let us not give in to panic,” the letter urged.
The letter also asked that the information be communicated in the various languages of the West African nation to ensure that the information is as clear as possible and to minimize rumours and superstition. Priests and religious are also asked to post a document in parishes, produced by Senegal’s Ministry of Health, which outlines the recommended public safety measures.
The six points stressed by the Senegalese health authorities are:
avoid areas struck by the virus;
frequent handwashing;
avoiding consumption of wild game 'bush meat';
avoiding contact with infected persons;
avoiding contact with the corpses of those killed by the virus;
respect the safety measures for medical personnel.
The letter asked the people to continue to pray for their country and all others infected.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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