Liberia YMCA Targets Adolescent Girls for Ebola Prevention and Reproductive Health Education in Bong & Lofa Counties
The Liberia YMCA in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Toronto has begun a number of interventions to help reduce the spread of Ebola through community awareness and engagements with adolescent young girls and women.
The interventions target girls for safe behavioural practices and personal hygiene in two districts and catchment communities in Bong & Lofa counties, Liberia.
Recently in Wainsue, Bong County and Zorzor, Lofa County, IEC and personal hygiene materials as well as hand washing barrels and detergents were provided to over 400 girls and 10 schools, respectively, as beneficiaries in the two districts to help increase awareness about the spread and dangers of ebola, particularly targeting adolescent girls and young women through peer education, awareness and peer support initiatives.
Speaking during the presentation of the materials in Wainsue, the Health Coordinator of the Liberia YMCA, Mrs. Monica Quaqua said the intervention by the Liberia YMCA also involved stakeholders’ engagements at the community level including coordinating with the respective health teams and local leaders on helpful actions to prevent the spread of ebola and increase girls’ awareness on reproductive health.
Mrs. Quaqua said the YMCA has also trained 10 project staff which comprised of 6 female peer educators, 2 female site coordinators and 2 branch coordinators in Bong and Lofa counties in hygiene and reproductive health skills and as well as ebola awareness and how the virus can be prevented.
Speaking during the presentation in Wainsue, Bong County, a proxy for the District Commissioner, Peter Gonta praised the Liberia YMCA and partners for the interventions.
“The donations by this institution today are highly appreciated”. Mr. Gonta said. He also challenged the beneficiaries to make good use of the materials especially in this period of ebola in Liberia.
In Zorzor, a Youth Leader in the district said youths of the community were grateful to the Liberia YMCA and partners for their work with the people of the district during this ebola period.
He thanked the Liberia YMCA for the initiative being carried out to increase adolescent girls’ access and participation at community levels and to enhance their awareness and skills in overseeing their reproductive health in addition to the risk to their health in the face of the ebola outbreak.
It can be recalled that earlier statistics released by the Ministry of Health of Liberia confirmed more cases of ebola among women and girls due to their traditional role as caretakers of the home and sick family members, and as cleaners.
The Liberia YMCA has in the past few months been involved in several activities around the country to respond to the ebola outbreak.
In supporting the national fight against the ebola virus disease, the organization’s initiatives have included ebola prevention awareness through peer education, collaborating to strengthen local leaders and local organizations capacity to respond to the outreach, providing food aid, food-for-work scheme, repair of community facilities and support for the revitalization of small businesses of especially female headed households in different communities around the country.
In recent times, the YMCA has also constructed or repaired about a dozen hand pumps at school campuses in Margibi, Bong and Nimba Counties to increase access of students to clean water to improve sanitation on school campuses, with funding from Medicor Emergency through Y-Care International, England.
The expanded initiatives of the YMCA are mainly funded by organizations local and international partners including Y-Care International, YMCA of Toronto, YMCA of USA, World YMCA, African Alliance of YMCAs, Mercy Corps, IREX etc.