Abuja, 29 October: UNESCO has delivered a two-day training course on Ebola communication to 31 community radio broadcasters in Gbarnga, Liberia. Trainers were drawn from UNICEF, WHO, IREX and the Ministry of Health. They focussed on development of health messages and reporting about the disease; dealing with myths and misconceptions; reporting success stories to give hope to the population; and dealing with stigmatization - especially of those who have been successfully treated. Participants developed simple messages which will be translated into local languages to be used on the community radio stations.
Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Information, Robert W. Kapdeh, commended UNESCO for the training. He said the community radios were major frontline fighters against the Ebola epidemic which has now claimed more than 4000 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Minister challenged the community radio broadcasters to serve as ambassadors by utilizing the skills and knowledge they acquired in the training to spread the message to a wider audience.
Stevenson Seidi, Head of the UNESCO Antenna Office in Liberia, thanked the Government and UN Agencies for their partnership with UNESCO to conduct the training. He advised the community radio broadcasters to intensify Ebola sensitization using accurate information. Mr. Seidi cautioned them against braodcasting rumours and misconceptions that could confuse the population. He reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to work within the framework of the UN response to support efforts geared at containing the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.