Controlling Ebola and containing its spread is key to preventing new infections, and towards this end the Liberian National Red Cross Society delivers operations in the following areas: health and care, disaster management and risk reduction, food security and livelihoods, safe and dignified burials, and organisational development. As the country has been declared Ebola-free as of 3 September 2015, the focus has changed to long-term recovery activities that take into account the broader impacts of the Ebola outbreak. 2014’s Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest to date, and the first outbreak ever in West Africa. The epidemic in the region began in Guinea and then spread to the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. There were also outbreaks in Senegal, Nigeria, and Mali. Although Liberia has been declared Ebola-free as of 3 September 2015, Ebola has taken the lives of almost 5,000 people in the country. The target for the project remains the entire population of Liberia across all 15 counties, as everyone is potentially at risk of contracting Ebola.
Community engagement is key to controlling and preventing further infections of the Ebola virus. Creating communications that raise virus awareness, and carrying out health promotion campaigns, including psychosocial support, both improve community-based health for affected populations in Liberia. Virus surveillance mechanisms are also implemented as well as ensuring safe and clean drinking water. Additionally, since the virus reduces food security in affected areas due to populations moving less, reducing economic activity, food assistance is given. In the long-term, vocational programmes for women and youth are put into place to aid recovery.
The target for the project remains the entire population of Liberia across all 15 counties, as everyone is potentially at risk of contracting Ebola. In the recovery phase, specific focus will be on Ebola survivors, orphans and vulnerable children, and affected families and communities.