By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – A British based Charity, Oxfam Liberia has increased its presence in several communities in Montserrado County, as part of efforts to defeat the deadly Ebola virus and eradicate the disease once and for all.
The intervention of Oxfam Liberia in the fight against Ebola is making tremendous impact in communities where the project was launched.
The Charity’s intervention targets 35,000 residents in four communities in Montserrado County namely New Kru Town, Clara Town, West Point and Garwulah Township (Logan Town).
According to the Program Manager of Oxfam Ebola Response in Montserrado County, Teddy Kabunda, the intervention is aimed at reducing the number of Ebola cases coming out of Montserrado County.
Mr. Kabunda said Montserrado County is one of the hot spots of the virus and as such it was significant for the Ebola Response Program to be launched in the County.
He asserted that apart from working in close contact with partners in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector, the Charity is also engaged with stakeholders in the health sector providing support to health practitioners.
Mr. Kabunda however indicated that as a tool to effectively combat the virus, Community Health Volunteers have be trained to carry out active case finding.
He further disclosed that Oxfam Liberia remains committed to working with partners and local stake holders to ensure that Ebola cases are fully reduced and eradicated.
For his part, Oxfam’s Montserado County Public Health Promotion Team Leader, Abdullah Ampilan, said his team is working closely with Community Health Volunteers in selected communities on active case to reduce the transmission of the Ebola virus.
Mr. Ampilan said detecting individuals showing early symptoms of the virus has been effective in the fight against Ebola.
“Our Hygiene Promotion activities also contributed immensely to our institution’s intervention”, the Oxfam Public Health Team Leader added.
He disclosed that through partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, basic training was conducted in the various communities.
As part of the response, Mr. Ampilan said Oxfam distributed hygiene kits to community members with basic awareness about the Ebola virus.
He revealed that at the initial stage of the program, denial and fear served as major challenges to the effective implementation of the program.
“But with our persistent engagement with the community leaders and the Ebola Task Force and stories of survivals, beneficiaries have accepted the facts about Ebola”.
Beneficiaries of Oxfam Ebola Response Project have described the intervention of the Charity in their respective communities as a life saving venture.
“Things were so uncertain, despite our own efforts to fight Ebola in our respective communities”, Wilimina Carlos, Commissioner of Garwulah Township(Logan Town) joyfully stressed.
Commissioner Carlos said Oxfam is greatly appreciated by residents for responding to the outbreak in their communities.
She said with the encouragement from the Charity, the Township has put in place a coordination meeting amongst stake holders to strategize various means of combating the virus.
Commissioner Carlos said the incentives provided by Oxfam for field workers have also contributed positively to the fight against the Ebola virus.
Also Commenting on Oxfam Ebola response, the Head of New Kru Town Ebola Task Force , Bacchus Karpeh, described the Charity intervention as timely and has made significant impact.
Mr. Karpeh said prior to the intervention of Oxfam, conditions were terrible in their community as it relates to the Ebola virus.
He said the task force at the time received 15 to 16 calls on an hourly basis concerning individuals who were sick and showing early symptoms of the virus.
Mr. Karpeh said Oxfam has assisted the community with basic information, training and hygiene kits to combat the virus.
He called on other organizations to emulate the good example of Oxfam Liberia in the fight against the Ebola virus, describing the intervention as appreciative.