A Health System Ravaged by Ebola
Even before the Ebola epidemic ravaged Liberia in 2014, Liberians faced serious challenges in getting medical care. A civil war that ended in the early 2000s weakened health services and created a deep mistrust in the health system among Liberians.
After the Ebola crisis it was much worse — people saw health facilities as places where family and friends went to die.
Our work in Liberia did not begin or end with the Ebola outbreak. We’ve been in the country since 2003, working to improve the health of people in hard-to-reach places.
Mothers and children in remote areas suffer the most as they struggle to reach life-saving medical care. One-third of children in Liberia are chronically malnourished, making them even more susceptible to disease.
Responding to Infectious Disease Outbreaks
When the Ebola outbreak spread across Liberia, supporters like you gave generously in an effort to contain it. You enabled us to work with communities to find innovative ways to stop the spread of disease. The hard-fought mission to contain the Ebola virus was the foundation for the work that happened next.
Together, we worked to reduce the chance of another catastrophic epidemic. Your support trained doctors and equipped clinics. You helped strengthen the health system by empowering Community Health Workers to care for their neighbors by spotting infectious diseases and referring people to care. Medical Teams worked with the Government of Liberia to train Community Health Workers to reach people who were far from medical facilities. This community health program reached many people who would be unable to get care on their own and helped rebuild trust in health facilities.
Meeting the Urgent Needs of Mothers and Children
We also focused on treating the most urgent needs of mothers and children. By training Community Health Workers, your support made sure mothers and children in remote areas didn’t fall through the cracks.
Community Health Workers were trained to go home to home, identifying children who were malnourished and mothers who needed prenatal care. Then they help get people to clinics where they received supplemental nutrition, prenatal check-ups and emergency care.
They also provided education to families about good nutrition, breastfeeding, preventing illness, and the importance of prenatal care and delivering in a clinic.