The provinces of Margibi and Grand Cape Mount, which are located in North-western Liberia, were strongly affected by the Ebola epidemic. While the health system in Liberia was already weak prior to the Ebola epidemic, it was disrupted and further weakened by this epidemic. Today, poor hygienic conditions and ignorance carry the risk of a renewed outbreak of Ebola and other infectious diseases. It is for this reason that the German Red Cross is continuing to work in Liberia and addressing these deficiencies.
Ebola, a severe infectious disease, rapidly spread in the West African states of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. While the interest of the media has now waned, urgent measures continue to be necessary on site in order to prevent a renewed outbreak of the virus and also to cope with the consequences of the epidemic. The GRC in partnership with the Liberian Red Cross is supporting the people of Margibi and Grand Cape Mount in coping with the consequences of Ebola and in preventing and preparing for future epidemics.
Improving hygiene conditions and transferring knowledge
In order to enable the inhabitants of Margibi and Grand Cape Mount to prevent an outbreak of infectious diseases in the future, the GRC is working in the following domains:
- supporting the community-led construction of latrines and wells
- moderating the establishment of local water committees as well as hygiene committees, the members of which take on responsibility for the maintenance and hygiene of wells and latrines
- distributing hygiene and health kits
- educates about hygiene measures, routes of infection and measures to protect against infections
Psycho-social support of Ebola survivors and their families is also a further key aspect of GRC activities in Liberia. Due to fear and ignorance, Ebola survivors and their relatives, as well as Ebola orphans are often stigmatized and shunned by their communities. Psycho-social support for those affected and educational campaigns within the communities are helping Ebola victims to reintegrate and to reduce their suffering.
Preparing for health emergencies
In addition, the GRC is supporting trainings for employees and volunteers of the Liberian Red Cross that aims at better staff protection when managing outbreaks of infectious diseases such as Ebola, Lassa-fever and Cholera. The participants will pass on their acquired knowledge to the population, which also strengthens local capacities in disaster management.
Duration: July 2015 - June 2017
Project volume: Euro 700 000
Finance: Federal ministry for economic co-operation and development (BMZ), Marga and Walter Boll foundation, GRC-partner: Liberian Red Cross (LNRCS)
Target group: approx. 25 000 people in the villages affected by Ebola in the counties of Margibi and Grand Cape Mount