Ebola: ADRA increases support to slow spread

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Monrovia, Liberia

Continuing its fight against Ebola, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has begun a new project to provide emergency supplies and preventative education to 87,000 people and eight health centres in Liberia. 

Recent reports indicate that while the international push to contain the disease in Liberia is beginning to succeed, increased levels of international support are still needed to contain the deadly disease.

Since July the disease has spread from three to all 15 Liberian counties, with more than half of the 5160 Ebola victims coming from the hard hit country. 

“Recent reports indicate that while the international push to contain the disease in Liberia is beginning to succeed, increased levels of international support are still needed to contain the deadly disease,” said Chris Jensen, International Program director for ADRA Australia. 

In response ADRA will expand its work to 19 communities across the country—providing education and sensitisation programs, establishing 190 community hygiene and sanitation facilities and encouraging health committees to monitor and support good hygiene practices. 

Eight health facilities will be provided with protective equipment, including gloves, goggles and disinfectants to ensure health workers can continue working safely. 

In addition, 200 Ebola survivors and their families will be supported with survival kits and psychological support as they rebuild their lives and overcome stigma in their communities. 

“The nature of the virus has led to the personal belongings of people infected being burnt—in some cases homes have to be destroyed,” said Mr Jensen. “In the cases where parents are affected, their children are missing out on food and other support. ADRA’s survival and nutritional kits will ensure their immediate survival needs are met.” 

“Ebola survivors also have a vital role to play in fighting the disease and reducing the stigma around it. Our response will engage survivors to help spread the word and slow the disease’s spread,” he said. 

The mobile audio-visual education program already utilised in ADRA’s response has been heralded by local authorities, and the Liberian Broadcasting System as “new” and “innovative”—and has been highly successful in breaking down barriers and promoting discussions, particularly in remote communities otherwise unable to access media reports and information. 

Donations to ADRA Australia’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Fund will support this and other ongoing relief efforts. 

ADRA has been active in response to the Ebola crisis in Liberia and Sierra Leone since June. For more information about the response, or ADRA’s work around the globe visit <www.adra.org.au> or call 1800 242 372.