August 22, 2014
Western Africa is currently in the midst of the worst Ebola virus outbreak in history. According to the WHO, there have been 2,473 confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and 1,350 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leona, as of August, 18th 2014. Over one-third of all confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths to date have occurred in Liberia.
In response, Voss Foundation’s implementing partner FACE Africa has launched a campaign to stop the spread (#StopTheSpread) of Ebola in Rivercess County where their work is currently focused. Rivercess is one of the most marginalized counties in Libera, and FACE Africa is the only NGO in Rivercess at the present time. Voss Foundation has funded the implementation of nine water access points with FACE Africa in Rivercess.
FACE Africa is implementing their Ebola Awareness Campaign in partnership with the Rivercess County health team and a WHO team. The campaign focuses on raising awareness , and seeks to educate people on methods of transmission, signs and symptoms, preventative measures, and how to deal with suspected cases. The a grassroots, community-based approach trains and educates all current WASH Committee members and arm them with information and education materials like leaflets and flyers from the Ministry of Health which they will use to educate the members of their communities. In addition to increased educational measures, FACE Africa is providing disinfectant, chlorine, and soap in all 20 of the communities in which their WASH programs operate.
According to the WHO, Ebola virus is not an airborne disease. Individuals may become infected as a result of human-to-human contact with the bodily fluids (vomit, diarrhea, sputum, blood, etc.) from persons who are confirmed to have Ebola virus or who have died from Ebola virus, and failure to apply appropriate infection prevention and control. Hygiene, especially handwashing, is an important aspect of prevention, as seen in the photos of the educational materials. Access to a clean, reliable water supply to the community members is essential for community members to be able to practice proper hygiene. In fact, access to clean water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene in general has a ripple effect on the health of a community. We hope our water projects in Rivercess are contributing to prevention efforts.
Voss Foundation is so glad that FACE Africa is in Rivercess working with communities to educate everyone about the Ebola virus and stop the spread. We hope that all FACE Africa’s staff and consultants and everyone in Rivercess remains healthy. We will continue to update our website as we learn more.