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Sierra Leone Religious Leaders to Launch Ebola Prayer Campaign

FILE- Health workers load a suspected Ebola patient into the back of an ambulance in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sept. 24, 2014.

The Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone will launch a seven-day, nationwide fasting, prayer, and education campaign to help the government’s effort in combatting Ebola on Thursday, according to Abdulai Bayraytay, a spokesman for the administration in Freetown.

The religious group, comprised of Muslims and Christians, met Tuesday to come up with a campaign plan following earlier discussions with President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Bayraytay welcomed the plan as a positive development.

“This seven-day fasting period according to the Inter-religious Council is more to provide meditation, the recitation of the Koran and the Holy Bible as well as using this as an effective medium to further communicate to the public on the do’s and don’ts as long as we are in the fight against the spread against the Ebola virus,” he said.

Bayraytay said the campaign will be broadcast on national television and radio stations as well as on social media platforms.

He said the Independent Radio Network, made up of networks owned by private organizations, has also agreed to support the campaign.

“They are quite willing to hook up so that the entire country can benefit from this opportunity…I think that is very key the reason being we want to make sure whatever message is coming from our religious leaders trickles down to the people at the village level so that all of us can be on the same page. Particularly, [since] the fight against the Ebola has so far been built as a collective effort,” Bayraytay said.

The World Health Organization estimates that Ebola has so far killed 7,842 people out of 20,081 confirmed cases.

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