- Posted August 14, 2014 by
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CALABAR SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY EBOLA AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Members of the Calabar School of Philosophy (CSP), an academic group based in the University of Calabar on Wednesday 13th August 2014 led a massive sensitization campaign on the Ebola Virus Disease around the City of Calabar, Eastern Nigeria. Popularly known as the CSP and reputed for its rapid response to social and political issues in the Nigerian society, its members comprising of lecturers and students of philosophy marched around the City of Calabar educating members of the public on the causes and preventive measures about Ebola virus. The CSP employed songs, handbills and direct interaction to pass across its message to citizens of the tourist city of Calabar many of whom had little information regarding the preventive measures against Ebola. Answering questions from the local media, the Convener of The Calabar School of Philosophy Dr. Jonathan Chimakonam emphasized that the CSP is taking advantage of Ebola's weakness which is its simplicity and deploying its greatest enemy which is information in combating the scourge. In his words "a simple behavioral pattern resting on minimal self-discipline is all that is required to avoid Ebola". Also, in reading the group's position statement at the Millennium Park, he reiterates that Ebola may not have readily available drugs but a well-informed citizenry is enough in neutralizing its menace.
In his speech, the Scribe of the Calabar School of Philosophy, Dr. Mesembe Edet, described the four hour exercise as very successful. Addressing members of the public at the popular Watt Market square he downplays the stigma already building up in the City. "one who is healthy and walking about, even if he has Ebola is not yet contagious" he said. However, he cautions that any manifestations of the symptoms of the disease must be quickly reported.
On another hand, the Chair of the Department of Philosophy Prof. Dorothy Oluwagbemi-Jacob who had earlier declared the march open describes the event as part of the social responsibility of philosophers and the department in particular. Also, Prof. Andrew Uduigwomen one time Chair of Philosophy and Dean of Arts enjoined members of the public to avail themselves of the accurate information which the group had to circulate and disabuse their minds of some dangerous rumours that have been in circulation.
The march which kicked off in front of the department of Philosophy in the University of Calabar entered the City of Calabar through Mary Slessor avenue and circling the densely populated areas around Watt Market and Calabar Road through to Nelson Mandela Roundabout. The procession eventually terminated at the famous Millennium Park where candles were lit and a minute silence observed in honour of those who have lost their lives to the Ebola Virus.