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Youth Praised for Fighting Against Ebola


Wynne Musabayana Deputy Director of Communcations and Infromation for the African Union

Wynne Musabayana Deputy Director of Communcations and Infromation for the African Union

Zimbabwean Expert Wynne Musabayana Deputy Head of Communication and Information, Lead Communicator in the Ebola Intervention and Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Africa Union says youth played an integral role against the Ebola epidemic and should continue to be at the fore front of change and a new developments.

“There were 855 total people who were health workers, medical volunteers, nurses, doctors, burial teams, and all public health responders to fight the Ebola epidemic in these three countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), and these were mostly the young people and they did a lot and played an integral role in the intervention against Ebola."

Youth were heavily involved in the Ebola fight with survivors, journalists and health workers

Youth were heavily involved in the Ebola fight with survivors, journalists and health workers

"As responders of to the Ebola epidemic the young people became involved in reporting suspected cases to authorities and in this way became case finders which helped a lot and would go out and report on cases for intervention.”

Young people where very active as awareness raisers says Musabayana,

“You might be aware that of the things killing people, it was really stigma attached to the Ebola and also lack of information and we found out young people came to the fall.”

A young female doctor explains the care given to Ebola patients.

A young female doctor explains the care given to Ebola patients.

Zimbabwe was one of the countries that were not affected by Ebola but it took precautionary measures to ensure that there was some control,

“When you go to Zimbabwe as you enter the airport the first thing is you are screened, to check your vital signs, this is still a precautionary vital signs measure to ensure we don’t have cases of Ebola coming into the country.” She said.

“In our intervention against Ebola Zimbabwe, in that sense, we as a nation also had a Zimbabwean medical doctor who is now part of the African Control and Disease Center also played a major role.”

A student checks temperatures of students and visitors before schools open in Liberia

A student checks temperatures of students and visitors before schools open in Liberia

The Africa CDC will help African countries effectively monitor public health, respond to public health emergencies, address complex health challenges, and build the needed capacity.

The establishment of the Africa CDC was endorsed in January 2015 by African leaders during the 24th African Union Summit. The Africa CDC will seek ongoing collaboration with other public health entities across the African continent and globally to elevate health outcomes for all African citizens.

“Youth should be free to take part in continental initiatives like the Africa CDC and campaign against Ebola and development Initiatives and claim their stake and their rights.”

“The capacity is there, we are a very learned nation but perhaps we need to have an outlook and say we can contribute more on continental levels.”

AUC Chairperson joins Ebola survivors and officials to remember Ebola victims

AUC Chairperson joins Ebola survivors and officials to remember Ebola victims

The Africa CDC will help African countries effectively monitor public health, respond to public health emergencies, address complex health challenges, and build the needed capacity.

Plans to establish the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) are now at the actualization stages with the construction and equipment at an advanced stage of set up.

“We have gone beyond the planning stage and it is now the actualizing, what has happened so far the head states have agreed to form the Africa Control and Disease Center for now and it will be based in Addis, Ethiopia at the Africa Union"

Africa CDC board of governors with AU officials

Africa CDC board of governors with AU officials

Nine epidemiologists have already been recruited and graduated beginning of the month on the 9TH May.

“The board of governors of the Africa CDC held a meeting beginning of the month of May where in that meeting the Director to head the Africa CDC was selected. Nine epidemiologists have been trained extensively, where training was offered by the Africa Union, China CDC, US CDC, and by the World Health Organization.”

The Role of the Africa CDC,

The Africa CDC will also promote partnership and coalition among Member States to address embryonic and prevalent diseases and public health crises. It will also complement disease control and prevention policies and the observation systems in Member States.

Many of the Africa CDC epidemiologists are young

Many of the Africa CDC epidemiologists are young

“Primarily to address the priority public health concerns in Africa and the way they would do this is firstly through intervention but also where needed through detection and response.” She added by saying,

“The CDC will serve as a platform, the member states of Africa Union, to will share their knowledge, to exchange lessons learnt and provide technical assistance.”

The Role of the Youth of Zimbabwe

“The Youth are at the fore front of change, at the forefront of new developments, I want to encourage the youth of Zimbabwe to stay engaged with the work for the development of their country.” She added.

“With greater development, greater awareness of the role of individuals can play to combat challenges. I encourage the youth to gain knowledge and understand the nature of disease. People attributed witchcraft to health workers, and in some cases health workers where chased out of community. So when people know, then they can know how to use it.”

Zimbabwean Dr Pride Chigwedere receives a recognition medal on behalf of UNAIDS

Zimbabwean Dr Pride Chigwedere receives a recognition medal on behalf of UNAIDS

The youth should continue to be influencer through the impact of social media which played a crucial role in spreading awareness,

I know that youth are using social media and has a very good side to it, if it is used properly it can be used to disseminate information. We saw this at work during the Ebola Epidemic and I think that this is something that our young people can continue to use to inform each and inform others communities and to keep abreast of what is happening.”

Mr Strive Masiiwa hands over solar lamps to Dr Dlamini Zuma for use for volunteers on the field

Mr Strive Masiiwa hands over solar lamps to Dr Dlamini Zuma for use for volunteers on the field

Mr Strive Masiiwa was one of the prominent African private sector business people who contributed very significantly to the fight against Ebola, in total, the private sector contributed $3 million.

(INSERT DRAFT TAPE WITH MUSABAYANA FACE)

Please leave a comment below would love to hear your thoughts regarding this matter. Send an email to writer Chioneso Jani: cjani@bbg.gov

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