From Doubt to Belief
The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that hit three West African Countries, Liberia Guinea and Sierra Leone left over twenty five thousand persons affected and well over ten thousand deaths.
In Liberia, over four thousand persons are reported to have died according to the US Centers for Disease Control case count for Liberia as of March 28, 2015.
The disease threatened the entire country from Monrovia to Cape Mount to Nimba to Grand Gedeh in the South East.
Through Swift intervention from local and international partners, the disease is being controlled in Liberia.
With the assistance of partners, Mercy Corps, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Population Services International (PSI), and other organizations involved in the fight against ebola, Grand Gedeh in South Eastern Liberia experienced few deaths and few suspected cases.
To help in the fight against ebola, the Liberia YMCA in collaboration with these partners and other stakeholders under the ECAP project organized a number of interventions which are: community stakeholders forum, public outreach campaign, door-to-door community awareness, promotion of treatment at ebola treatment units (ETU), stigma reduction, psychosocial training and door-to-door community awareness among others.
With these activities in 8 communities in Zwedru to include Disco Hill, Kanneh Road, Gbolleyville, Jensenville, Zambo Quarter, Webbo Quarter, Sinoe Road, Mandingo Quarter, Broad Street Community and Airfield Community by the Liberia YMCA and other partners in other communities of Grand Gedeh County, members of the communities now have knowledge on the spread and prevention of the ebola virus disease, behavioral change towards ebola, reduced fears about ETUs and reduction in stigmatization.
“One thing amazing about the communities we have worked with is that community members did not believe in that ebola was real, but the intervention by the Liberia YMCA and partners has brought communities to believe there is ebola.” Says Derrick Barshell- the Coordinator of the Liberia YMCA ECAP in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.
“People are now washing hands and communities are meeting regularly to discuss issues about ebola, all aimed at preventing the spread of the disease in their county. Says Derrick.