BRAC Conducts Psychosocial Counseling for Ebola Survivors

first_imgBRAC Liberia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social welfare (MOH/SW) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has completed a weeklong psychosocial counseling workshop for Ebola survivors and orphans in four of the 15 counties.Those counties are Grand Cape Mount, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Montserrado and Lofa. The exercise brought together hundreds of Ebola survivors and orphans.The workshop was intended for victims who were affected by the Ebola crisis in the country to share their experiences with the organization, and how to help tackle the growing levels of stigma surrounding the disease.Alexander Blackie, Psychosocial Consultant to BRAC, told the participants that there is a desperate need for psychosocial support and training in Liberia, where stigmatization has become a serious problem, pushing Ebola survivors and families out of their communities and adding to their pain.“We need to encourage the acceptance of medically cleared survivors and help communities understand the facts about Ebola transmission. It is important that communities and survivors stand in unity to successfully combat Ebola in the country,” Mr. Blackie stated.He said that survivors often face stigma, income loss and grief, particularly from surviving friends and family members of those who died from the disease.Mr. Blackie, who is a Mental Health Clinician, described the situation as “truly troubling,” because, he believes that survivors need food and other support, such as the provision of basic household items, since those who were infected had all their belongings burnt, leaving them in a desperate situation.”At the same time, Mr. Blackie is encouraging community dwellers to help ensure that survivors are welcomed and not stigmatized.Montserrado County Health Officer, Fred Amegashi, urged the survivors to think positively and forgo the stigma of Ebola, because the disease affected everyone in the country.In separate remarks, some of the survivors said that life had changed for them because community dwellers are stigmatizing them to the extent that some marketers refuse to accept money from victims for transactions.BRAC launched operations in Liberia in 2008, and has since been working for a better future with programs in microfinance, agriculture, poultry and livestock, health and empowerment as well as livelihoods for adolescents.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Doctors yet to decide whether teen can undergo surgery

first_imgShot waitressAs the condition of Onika Luke, the teen waitress who was shot during an attempted robbery, continues to improve, doctors are yet to decide whether or not she should be operated on to remove the bullet which is now lodged in her stomach.Initially, the teen was slated for surgery to remove the bullet, which was at the time stuck in her throat.However, prior to the operation, doctors had discovered that the bullet had passed through Luke’s windpipe and oesophagus, ending up in her stomach.Onika LukeAs a result, the surgery had been postponed, as doctors were monitoring the position of the bullet.Luke’s brother, Rickford Ranjee, told this newspaper that his sister’s condition was improving and she was now able to speak and move around a little.However, he related that doctors were still unsure whether or not the teen should undergo surgery to remove the bullet.Ranjee explained that on Friday last, he had received information that the bullet had moved from his sister’s throat and into her stomach; therefore, causing doctors to rethink the surgery.Subsequent to the discovery, it was indicated to the teen’s family by the chest specialist that a scan was required to ascertain the direct position of the bullet in her stomach.“They told me that they have to do a scan on her to see if it would be harmful to take the bullet out or leave it there. Doctors said that they have to check if she would be able to live with the bullet in her,” he related. The teen remains a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Woodlands Hospital.Ranjee added that Police were still hunting for clues that would lead to the arrest of the perpetrator.Luke had been shot after resisting a lone gunman who had entered the Lucky Star Chinese Restaurant, where she was at the time working as a waitress.According to reports, the gunman ordered a meal and after collecting his order had demanded that the teen hand over the cash while pointing a gun at her.While brushing the gun away, the 16-year-old had been shot to her arm, but the bullet had made its way to her throat where it remained for a number of days.It is understood that the man had recently threatened to kidnap Luke and he was a frequent customer.Luke is a student of St John’s College and had started the job at the restaurant three months ago, working the 17:00h-22:00h shift.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Photo: LukeCaption: Onika Lukelast_img read more