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  • on 26.08.2014
  • at 05:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Radio joins battle against Ebola in West Africa 0

The Ebola outbreak that began in Guinea in February has now spread to three other countries and been declared an international health emergency. In Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in particular, access to affected villages has been hampered not only by rain and poor roads, but also by rumour and fear.  Radio therefore has a key role to play in providing people with information about the disease and how to stop it spreading. In Guinea and Sierra Leone, where Fondation Hirondelle works with partners, radio stations are stepping up to the challenge.

At Studio Hirondelle in Guinea, special programmes are being produced in local languages with partners from the Rural Radio Network. Journalists have addressed local attitudes to the Ebola virus with programmes in Peulh and Malinké that have been broadcast on community radios. Attitudes in remote rural areas, including fear and denial, have been part of the problem in containing the disease.

At Cotton Tree News (CTN) in Sierra Leone, a team of professional and student journalists are reporting on the virus, and producing live interactive debates on it with national and local decision makers. Recent guests include representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, the Interreligious Youth Council and the Voice of Islam Radio. The programmes are broadcast in the capital Freetown and on partner radios around the country.

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Photo credit: Fondation Hirondelle / Julia Crawford

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