In an effort to help make public health a frontline agenda, BRAC-Liberia, an international non-governmental organization has embarked on a four-day trainer of trainers’ (TOT) workshop on psychosocial support for Ebola survivors in seven counties of Liberia.
The seven counties benefiting from the training are Lofa, Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Montserrado and Cape Mount. The training is supported by the United Nations Agency for International Development (USAID).
The ongoing workshop which began on January 25, brought together more than 20 participants from across Monrovia and its environs including government representatives, USAID and other stakeholders.
The workshop is being held at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Congo Town.
Mohammed Abdus Salam, BRAC-Liberia Country representative, who spoke at the beginning of the TOT, said it was intended for his entity to reach out to two thousand five hundred Ebola survivors in rural and urban communities by providing them counseling on the effects of the virus.
Dr. Salam disclosed that the program will last for nine months as mandated by his organization and its partners.
“As you all know, Ebola has caused a lot of damage in this country and as such, we need to help government by providing some support to Ebola victims. We also have some provisions to support people with special needs as well as orphans,” he said.
Though the virus is declining, we still have to abide by the measures put in place by health authorities and their partners, said Dr. Salam, adding that some communities are rejecting Ebola survivors and we must ensure that stigmatization is stopped.
He also acknowledged the Ministry of Health for its support for his organization’s efforts to reach Ebola survivors in the seven counties.
For her part, Madam Angela Sherbenou, member of the USAID Disaster Management Team, disclosed that USAID has been supporting Liberia from the onset of the outbreak of the virus, and the latest initiative is a continuation of its own efforts to eliminate the virus to zero percent.
Madam Sherbenou said through this program her institution is trying to identify with vulnerable people to ensure that they live a better life in their various communities.
Meanwhile, BRAC-Liberia has reached out to the under-privileged and deprived community through its frontline community health workers (CHWs); adopting a door to door service delivery approach. BRAC’s international operations replicate the models used in Bangladesh to provide healthcare services to communities.
The organization BRAC was launched in 2008 and has been working for a better future for Liberians with programmes in microfinance, agriculture, poultry and livestock, health, and Empowerment and Livelihoods of Adolescents; programmes that are reported to benefit more than half a million people.