Accra based radio station XFM 95.1 embarks on Ebola awareness campaign


An Accra based radio station XFM 95.1 has begun a massive Ebola sensitization crusade to educate the public about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

The hemorrhagic fever is one of the deadliest diseases known to humanity and has killed close to 1,000 people in West Africa this year with about 1,700 suspected cases.

“Looking at the way it is spreading through the other West African countries, I just felt that it is very important for us not to be taken by surprise or be caught off guard. We want to be proactive and force the powers that be to get active with preventive measures,” a Senior Staff of XFM, Kwaku David disclosed.

As part of the awareness programme, the station holds discussions about Ebola every week day on the Xpress Breakfast Show with Kwaku David where experts disseminate vital information about Ebola.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. As part of the campaign XFM will partner various stakeholders to distribute hand sanitizers and also encourage the public to avoid activities that will aid transmission from one person to the other.

The UN World Health Organisation said on Friday that Ebola represents an international health emergency and could continue spreading for months.

Kwaku David opines that Ghana is still not prepared adequately for a possible outbreak adding that “if one person gets Ebola in this country, it will cause a lot of mayhem”.

He complained bitterly about government’s attitude stressing that distribution of pamphlets and posters as well as television and radio campaigns in local languages should have been implemented already to help people understand the disease and the necessary steps to take to tackle it.

He also lamented on the porous entry points of the country and stressed that most of the borders are not secured enough to conduct screening processes and even isolate suspected cases.

He questions how a man was rushed from Burkina Faso to the Bawku Presby Hospital in the Upper East Region without any screening even though the man showed signs of the Ebola virus.

The man died on arrival and was bleeding from his nostrils when he was brought to the hospital by his relatives, according to reports.

Fortunately, tests of his blood samples from the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research showed negative.

Blood samples of three other suspected patients who were isolated at the Nsawam Government hospital in the Eastern Region for showing signs of the virus alsoproved negative.

This brings the number of suspected Ebola cases to seven. Two in Kumasi and one other person in Accra tested negative.

EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.

However two American doctors who contracted the disease while attending to patients in Liberia are reported to  have shown  tremendous signs of improvement after they were given ZMapp   treatment  in isolated hospitals in the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is however committed to finding solutions to the worst ever Ebola outbreak and said on Wednesday it would ask medical ethics experts to explore emergency use of experimental treatments.

Submitted by David Apinga


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