The Government of Liberia has reached an important milestone in the fight against Ebola with the opening of schools and putting in place protocols, amid a drastically reduced number of new cases of Ebola Virus Disease in the country.Now that the worst is over, there is an urgent need to make up for a lost school year. The focus now in this post- Ebola recovery process is for schools to put in place conditions that are as safe as possible for children.School protocols should include safety measures, not only taking children’s temperatures when they arrive at their school campuses and making them wash their hands before entering classrooms. They should, in addition, take into account children’s temperatures as they return to their respective communities, along with the distribution of Ebola preventive materials to use at home. The measures should include classroom spacing, student-to-teacher and health workers ratio.All schools should be equipped with adequate source of water supply and school children should have access to safe sanitary facilities, like urinals and toilets. In cases of detected elevated temperature among school children, schools should be mandated to provide temporary isolation space for suspected cases.Zoning of healthcare facilities by schools and health workers should be put into place to ensure adequate transportation of suspected cases to appropriate healthcare facilities. Contact tracing and follow-up visits to monitor children who may be absent from school for health reasons and medical clearance should be required from students who have been sick to return to school.Additional safety precautions at our schools would require psychosocial support as some children may not return to school and many who lost their parents and friends may find it difficult to cope with school work.Dealing with stigmatization of Ebola survivors and victims would be critical at this stage. The decision to expel students who deliberately flaunt protocols for safe school is harsh and should be amended (see page 8 of the protocols for details).In addressing the psychosocial needs of school children, Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia, is committed, through its peace clubs and community education outreach campaigns/programmes, to work with the Liberian government, the private sector and others. It is essential to educate our children about Ebola as a disease and it is equally important to educate them about its psychosocial impact to our stability as a nation. More than anything else in the school curriculum, our children must learn about the Ebola crisis and the period they had to stay away from learning.The private and not-for-profit sections now have an important role to play in ensuring complete adherence to the protocols for safe school environment. Governments (local and national) should also focus more on providing essential services to poor community schools. The theme of the protocols for safe school environment in the Ebola outbreak in Liberia should be in the best interest of school children.We are only months away from when Liberia would be declared “Ebola-free.” Until then and with an end in sight, we need to redouble our collective efforts to stop and eradicate Ebola from our country. Support the “Ebola Educates” Campaign in kind through your stories or with your generous cash donation.Until next week when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates-Community Protocols,” Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday heaped praise on Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay for setting the platform for the comfortable 97-run victory over Wayamba in Group A match of the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament in Centurion.Raina (87 off 44) and Vijay (68 off 48) shared a 137-run second wicket partnership, that came off just 72 deliveries, to help Chennai post a mammoth 200 for three and set the tone for the convincing win at the SuperSport Park.”We did not want to bat first because in this ground it is very hard to defend. But once we were sent into bat, we needed couple of extra runs, something over 180.”And exactly thats what the batsmen did. They started off cautiously and after that Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay batted brilliantly. They were easily picking up boundaries and in the end 200 is a very good score to defend,” Dhoni said after his side had inched a step closer towards semifinals following their second consecutive win in Group A.”We want to win each and every game that we play. But we always talk about not to think too much about the result, instead prepare well for the game. It is really important to prepare well and execute your plans on the field,” he said.The Chennai skipper also lauded his quick bowlers Doug Bollinger and Albie Morkel for their impressive display upfront.”It is important to have a quick bowler in the side. Dougie (Bollinger) came in as a replacement for us and all of a sudden the team looked different with his inclusion because pace really matters,” Dhoni said.advertisement”Equally important was Albie Morkel’s spell because he has got the neck of picking wickets,” he added.His Wayamba counterpart Jehan Mubarak was of the view that his bowlers awful performance in the middle overs cost his side the match.He also lauded Chennai for their clinical display.”They are a very good team and we knew we had to play our best cricket if we desire to beat them. But they brought out their best game today. Suresh (Raina) batted extremely well,” Mubarak said.”We got a good start with (Ajantha) Mendis opening the bowling but there were four big overs in the middle which produced in excess of 20 runs and I think this cost us the game,” he insisted.Mubarak said opting to bat after winning the toss was not a wrong decision but his batters struggled from the onset of their innings.”In Twenty20 cricket, the wicket and toss don’t play a big difference. The wicket was the pretty much the same all throughout the game but we struggled with the bat.”We lost too many wickets early on and when you need to chase 10 an over from the start there is additional pressure on the batsmen,” he said.Man-of-the-match Suresh Raina was also of the view that his second-wicket partnership with Vijay did the trick for his side.”Vijay batted really well. Me and Vijay got a very good partnership which set the tone but at the end of the day credit goes to the team. We executed our plan really well,” he said.