ActionAid has sent teaching resources to thousands of primary and secondary schools across the UK to help schools dispel the myths around Ebola and give pupils the real facts about the disease.
The package (aimed at pupils within KS2 and onwards), which is adaptable for a range of ages and includes a quiz, photos from Sierra Leone and Liberia, maps, infographics and links for up to date information and statistics, was sent to the 24,000 teachers in the UK who are signed up for ActionAid teaching resources.
In the past week a school reportedly postponed a visit from a teacher from Ghana and parents from another school started a petition to stop a teacher exchange trip to Kenya because of fears of Ebola.
There have also been anecdotal reports of playground Ebola-related bullying since the virus swept across West Africa, infecting over 9,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and killing 4,500.
Chris Parker, ActionAid’s Schools Team Manager, said: “With fears riding high about Ebola and a handful of cases reaching Europe and the United States, pupils may be worried and starting to ask questions in school.
“Our teaching resources focus on facts rather than playground myths about the disease and explain why Ebola is having such a devastating effect on Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. They also reassure children that the risk of Ebola in the UK is low and how well equipped our hospitals are to deal with any cases that we may see here.”
ActionAid has been working across Sierra Leone and Liberia to combat Ebola since June, reaching more than 270,000 people. They are:
- Giving food aid to quarantined families.
- Distributing vital medical equipment to local health workers including rubber gloves and protective overalls.
- Donating survivor packs to people who have recovered from Ebola but have lost everything due to their belongings being incinerated.
- Paying for education materials for children whose schools have been closed.
Their work also includes working with local, trusted volunteers to distribute government and World Health Organisation information in local languages, using flyers, radio jingles and door-to-door visits, to help people understand how to protect themselves.
You can view the resources from Action Aid at https://www.actionaid.org.uk/school-resources/topic/health