Employees of the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 joined other government line ministries and agencies as well as community based organizations to participate in a day long risk communication workshop aimed at training participants on COVID-19 awareness, prevention and risk mitigation techniques in affected areas across the Country.
The workshop which gathered over 50 participants was held at the A La Lagoon Hotel in Oldest Congo Town, outside Monrovia.
The objectives of the seminar were to equip participants with best practices and methodologies to successfully conduct the awareness raising exercise in Monrovia (dates to be completed) August. Drawing on the vast communication, negotiation and training experience of the Governance Team (GT), including in the Covid-19 context, this seminar has been designed specifically for the Liberian CBRN National Team and Covid-19 experts. The GT seminar followed an interactive approach with simulations to allow for meaningful exchanges. The European Union (EU) Governance Team was represented by Pr. Linda Benrais, Lieutenant Colonel Yannick Durocher and Pr. Tariel Sikharulidze.
In introductory remarks, Pr. Linda Benrais, Eu Key Expert of the Governance Team and Mrs. Stefiania Micucci, Regional Coordinator of EU Center of Excellence for Africa Atlantic Façade, Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, lauded the Government of Liberia for its valuable import and qualities of participants sent to the training.
The EU Governance Team experts via a zoom communication reaffirmed its strong commitment and vowed to remain collaborative in supporting government in the domain of training of emerging experts who will work in the CBRNe risk mitigation.
Dr Martin Scott-Tabi, presenting a brief history of the organization, narrated that the platform was established in 2013 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and affiliated with the EU-CBRNe Center of Excellence of the African Atlantic Façade region in Rabat morocco, in which Liberia has participated in several initiatives of waste hazardous chemical, and hospital waste.
According to Prof. Scott-Tabi, the organization has done baseline assessment of the CBRNe situation in Liberia to know the state of affairs on CBRN. “The organization is moving towards validation of needs assessed, and we are currently on project 71 which is the transportation of dangerous goods and project 69 is also the transportation of dangerous chemical by road and as well as by rail.
The National Action Plan that will govern the acts of CBRNe in Liberia is in progress. The organization has had three national meeting and is looking forward to the last meeting which will lead to validation by stakeholders. After which, the organization shall look up to developing a legislation on CBRNe that will pave the way for the program to either transcend to an existing state own agency, Ministry or would be made to become a commission which would enable them to reach the milestone set for the platform.
For the role-playing, the participants were divided into five major groups and asked to demonstrate skills and techniques provided them while attending the field functions.
Additionally, participants were informed that upon the completion of their training, they would be expected to carry out a three days’ fieldwork in five different communities across Montserrado, at this juncture, they would be expected to utilize and exhibit acquired skills to effectively communicate the public health risks associated with the COVID- 19 virus as well as the distribution of essential tools to mitigate the risk of propagation.
Professor Tabi also recommended to the host team the following:
- Organizers of the training be ask to do flyers with brief statement on a door to door sensitization, awareness and protocol guiding the behaviors of participants during the three day field work.
- Future projects be implemented on the CBRNe risk mitigation, including chemical risk, biological risk , radiological risk, nuclear risk and explosive risk in order to conscientise and safeguard the population and environment.
In conclusion, Prof. Scott Tabi, on behalf of the Government of Liberia, thanked the EU and its Governance Team for sponsoring the initiative and urged them to continue their support. The EU Governance Team commended the high quality and commitment of the trainer experts accompanied by the National Focal Point in this important work on the prevention of Covid-19 and other diseases in Liberia.
Director of Communication, MOH