SOCFIN takes measures to help local governments fight the Ebola epidemic.
In March 2014 an outbreak of the Ebola virus was reported in Guinea, and since then, the disease has also reached the neighboring countries Sierra Leone and Liberia, causing up to 1201 cases of which 672 deaths (July 23, 2014)
As of today, no cases of Ebola have been reported on the plantations.
Due to the severity of this outbreak, SOCFIN health care workers in Liberia and Sierra Leone (in collaboration with health care workers of other companies in the regions) have been trained in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Body bags of high quality are on site at the plantation in Liberia. These are an important tool in the fight against Ebola as the manipulation of the body of a person who died of Ebola is amongst the highest risk factors for Ebola transmission.
Temperature monitors that will be used as screening tools have been ordered and are to be set up at various entry sites at the plantation in Liberia.
Measures are also being taken in case someone in the region does get infected, allowing the infected person to be quarantined and taken care of, so that the virus cannot spread any further.
Preventive actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of all the employees and their families at the SOCFIN plantations in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Together with government officials, our health care workers are helping to spread the awareness of the disease in nearby villages.
A community liaison staff of 4 is going from village to village at the plantation in Sierra Leone, to provide to the workers and their families practical information on the dangers of infection with Ebola virus and the best ways to prevent it.
Similar activities with the workers are taking place during the daily morning calls.
Power point presentations with prevention messages are put up in public places in the different plantation sections. The power point presentations also show a list of the most frequently asked questions according to the Ministry of Health.
We also encourage all employees to wash their hands as often as possible.
A gradual acceptance that Ebola is real has been observed at the plantation in Sierra Leone as the campaign and posters are on-going.
The direction and heads of the medical departments of the plantations are involved in meetings at district level including all stake holders (local population, private sector, ministry of health).
By frequently exchanging information with the local governments we hope to help as much as we can and ensure that the disease does not spread any further.