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October 31 2014 | ABIDJAN, CÔTE D'IVOIRE

Sant'Egidio in Ivory Coast gives health education to prevent the spread of Ebola

Distributions of soaps and disinfectants, and lectures to educate the population on hygiene to combat the spread of the virus.

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The fight against the spread of the Ebola virus also passes through prevention and health education. This is why the Community of Sant'Egidio in Abidjan has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the population, particularly of the poorest households living in extremely poor housing conditions, to educate people about hygiene rules to be adopted and behaviours to be taken to avoid virus spread and infection.

So far, in Ivory Coast there were no cases of infection, but the plight of neighbouring countries such as Liberia and Guinea Conakry requires to be on high alert. The Ivorian authorities have launched initiatives to raise awareness, however, they have not reached many of the poorest areas where sanitary conditions are poorest.

The campaign of Sant'Egidio began with the children and adolescents of Koumassi, one of the poorest areas of Abidjan, included in the programme of long-distance adoptions of Sant'Egidio. In addition to the school supplies needed to start school again, together with their parents they have received soaps and disinfectants and information on the evolution of the epidemic in neighbouring countries.

Until a few months ago in Koumassi there was one of the largest slums of Abidjan, partially recently destroyed by the authorities. Thanks to the programme of long-distance adoptions, many families were able to find a better housing solution. The programme currently supports more than one hundred children and youth in the neighborhood. It is help that extends to the whole family and that prevents the breakdown, unfortunately frequent, precisely because of economic difficulties.

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