Along the Liberia-Guinea border, where six suspected Ebola cases have occurred, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWASH) Program is delivering materials to prevent potential spread of the disease.
Materials have been distributed to health facilities that are on the “front line” in responding to the Ebola outbreak in the Foya District border region in Lofa County.
The IWASH team, with staff from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (Lofa County Health Team) and the Ministry of Public Works, visited 3 clinics and the District Hospital in Foya, delivering gloves, face masks, and disinfectant, soap.
Clinics visited were the Porluma, Sulormba, and Mendikorma clinics in the Foya District.
Materials were delivered for launching a Hygiene Promotion Campaign in the clinics and surrounding communities to promote healthy behaviors to prevent disease transmission.
Mr. Piet Devries, the Chief of Party of the IWASH Program, said “We met with the WHO surveillance team and the District Health Officer to discuss the priorities and then began supplying facilities closest to the border”.
The work has continued with the Community-based Hygiene Promotion with Community Health Volunteers.
The focus of the IWASH-GoL intervention is to create awareness among communities about basic health and hygiene practices such as hand washing with soap, limited human contacts, avoiding direct contacts with and eating of raw bush meat, and the treatment of water with WaterGuard or other treatment products before drinking.
The intervention is also geared towards supporting health workers in the area with protective working materials such as gloves, and nose masks.
A total of over 500 pairs of hand gloves, 4,000 posters on hand washing messages, 300 bars of soap, 160 cartons of WaterGuard and other assorted materials such as chlorine, jerry cans, t-shirts with health messages have been mobilized and distribution started.
IWASH has been working with Government of Liberia partners in Lofa, Nimba and Bong counties for 4 years.
It is implemented by Global Communities – Partners for Good (formerly CHF International) and Population Services International (PSI).