Preventing Diseases From Crossing Borders in West Africa Post-Ebola:
By Mirabelle Enaka Kima
When the Ebola outbreak was confirmed in Guinea two years ago, one of the reasons the virus spread so quickly was due to the high amount of people traffic across the borders of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. To mitigate the introduction of new Ebola cases or other diseases by cross border travellers, the Red Cross has introduced a community event-based surveillance system. It is successful, in large part, due to the engagement of community members.
Settled near the Kolantin River, a Red Cross health screening post is now part of the picturesque landscape at the popular Binticabaya border crossing between Guinea and Sierra Leone. Outfitted with a hand washing kit, a thermometer, and a register, volunteers at the screening post are ready to monitor people crossing the river between the two countries.
"I cross twice a week to visit my wife who lives in a nearby village in Sierra Leone," says one soldier as he stops to wash his hands before going for his temperature check.
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