The Liberia branch of the Young Men Christian Association (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 girls and women.
The intervention targets girls for safe behavioural practices and personal hygiene in two districts and communities in Bong and Lofa Counties.
In Wainsue, Bong County and Zorzor, Lofa County recently, information as well as personal hygiene materials, including, hand washing barrels and detergents were provided to over 400 girls and 10 schools, respectively.
During the presentation in Wainsue, the Health Coordinator of the Liberia YMCA, Monica Quaqua, said the intervention also involved stakeholders’ engagement at the community level, which includes coordinating with health teams and local leaders.
Mrs. Quaqua said the YMCA had also trained 10 project staff members comprising six female peer educators, two female site coordinators and two branch coordinators in Bong and Lofa Counties in hygiene and reproductive health skills, as well as Ebola awareness.
Peter Gonta, who spoke as proxy for the District Commissioner during the presentation in Wainsue, praised the Liberia YMCA and partners for the intervention.
“The donations by this institution are highly appreciated,” Mr. Gonta said. “I’m appealing to you, the beneficiaries to make good use of these materials, especially in this period of Ebola in Liberia.”
In Zorzor, a Youth Leader in the district said the community is grateful to the Liberia YMCA and partners for their support.
He thanked the Liberia YMCA for the initiative to increase adolescent girls’ access and participation at community level and enhance their awareness and skills in overseeing their reproductive health.
It may be recalled that earlier statistics released by the Ministry of Health confirmed more cases of Ebola among women and girls due to their traditional role as caretakers.
In supporting the national fight against the Ebola virus disease, the YMCA Liberia has initiated Ebola prevention awareness through peer education, and has strengthened local leaders and organizations’ capacity to respond to the outreach.
YMCA Liberia, with funding from Medicor Emergency through Y-Care International, England, has also constructed or repaired about a dozen hand pumps on school campuses in Margibi, Bong and Nimba counties to increase students’ access to clean water.