Nashville, TN (PRWEB) August 08, 2014
With the Ebola outbreak in West Africa declared an international health emergency, United Methodist church leaders in Liberia are educating people about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
United Methodist Communications, the denomination’s communication agency in Nashville, Tennessee, is sending a $10,000 crisis communications grant to the United Methodist Liberia Annual (regional) Conference to help get out messages through printed fliers, banners and radio. A second $10,000 grant will go to Sierra Leone. United Methodist Communications also has reached out to church leaders in Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire.
“This crisis illustrates the strategic importance of communications. The lack of clear information at the outset of the crisis is now compounding the tragedy as misinformation and fear increase,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications.
“In circumstances such as this crisis, support for helping build the capacity to communicate effectively is urgent and life-saving. Communication is aid,” he said.
United Methodist pastors and church leaders are coming together for training in what the symptoms of Ebola are, how it can spread and what treatments are available so they can share information with their local churches and districts. Church leaders in Liberia are also deploying young people with megaphones to more remote locations to reach people who are illiterate or speak different languages.
United Methodist Communications is also exploring the possibility of using text messaging through SMS and voice-based mobile solutions to communicate more widely.