The Rebuilding Basic Health Services in Liberia (RBHS) project is providing weekly updates on the Ebola outbreak and response effort.
International Response to Ebola Outbreak Accelerates
The international community has continued to aggressively ramp up response support and activities. On Saturday, September 20th, WHO held a partners meeting in Monrovia to present the proposed Ebola Care Center (ECC) model and discuss rollout of the community care package.
On Thursday, September 18th, the US Military started sending engineering/infrastructure equipment and troops. Over fifty soldiers have arrived to date, and will help train health workers. The French and German militaries have agreed to establish a joint airlift and build a logistics chain from Germany to support affected countries. Supplying about 100 soldiers and four cargo planes, the airlift will ship about 100 tons of essential supplies per week.
On Sunday, Sep 21, a Direct Relief-chartered Boeing 747 sent 100 tons of emergency medical supplies, the largest known private airlift of emergency medical supplies to West Africa to date.
Ebola Response Committees:
Infection Prevention and Control Task Force: The Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Task Force is chaired by the RBHS Chief of Party. The IPC group is holding a training of trainers (TOT) this week, once training teams return from the counties.
Thus far, the group has:
- Led IPC coordination efforts (e.g., mapped IPC resources and health care facilities)
- Aligned standard operating procedures (SOPs) for national application – SOPs cover triaging, ECCs, enhanced protection for routine care, systematic fever monitoring, patient transport, and safe burials.
- Enhanced health care worker knowledge (developed and disseminated technical training materials, trained 107 people who are serving on 21 training teams this week).
Social Mobilization Committee: RBHS Behavior Change Communications (BCC) Officers have been actively involved in developing and refining the social mobilization strategy, and have helped facilitate trainings.
- The committee has enlisted the Ministry of Education – 26,000 teachers are available — schools remain closed. Teachers are an ideal group to provide outreach and education, as they are respected community members. Last week nearly 90 county and district education officers were trained using gCHV training materials; these officers will return to counties to train teachers.
- 300 gCHVs have been trained to date. The social mobilization group wants to add a psycho-social component to educational training, as children are losing family and community members to EVD.
Thoughts from our Capacity Building Director
RBHS has been on the ground for six years, developing a network of strong relationships across MOHSW at the central and county levels. As a result, the project has gained a solid understanding of how systems really function on the ground. With this knowledge, the project has helped build platforms that will guide the Ebola response. In the future, RBHS will be well-positioned to inform the transition from the emergency response phase to the restoration of routine health services.