In seeking to control Ebola and prevent its spread, the Nigeria Red Cross carried out the following activities: beneficiary and social mobilisation, contact tracing and surveillance, and psychosocial support. 2014’s Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest to date, and the first ever outbreak in West Africa. The epidemic in the region began in Guinea and then spread to the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. These three countries comprised the heart of the outbreak, having more than 11,000 deaths and over 28,000 cases between them. There were also smaller outbreaks in Senegal, Mali, and Nigeria. Nigeria had 21 Ebola cases and eight deaths, with 891 contacts that were followed up throughout the country. Nigeria was declared Ebola-free on 14 November 2014. The targeted population were people from the communities where contacts were traced, namely Lagos, Port Harcourt, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, and Oyo.
Originally, the Nigeria Red Cross targeted five million people with its prevention messaging, which is critical to hindering the spread of the virus, but only 900,000 were reached due to the outbreak being contained early. At the Red Cross-level, volunteers were trained in Ebola prevention methods and deployed to key locations, as were volunteers who provided psychosocial social support for both Ebola survivors and the families of the deceased. Those visited with psychosocial supported reported that the Red Cross was the only organisation that visited them after Ebola was contained in September 2014.
The targeted population were people from the communities where contacts were traced. Contact tracing was conducted in areas where there was either a case or a suspected case.