Establishing Ebola Care Centers and Treatment Units
PCI expanded its Ebola virus response in September of 2014 through the Rapid Ebola Awareness, Communication, and Training program. The expansion included disease education, behavior change communication, contact tracing and surveillance efforts, clinical support and restoration, provision of critical non-food items, and overall health care strengthening.
Working in partnership with County Health Teams, PCI mobilized community health workers and used mass media campaigns, including radio public service announcements and educational films, to reach an estimated 537,907 direct beneficiaries with Ebola prevention education.
PCI also established and managed three Ebola Community Care Centers—the only fully Liberian-staffed Ebola Treatment Unit in the country. These centers managed both the clinical and non-clinical components of Ebola virus treatment operations. Given its location on the Guinea border, PCI’s Ebola Treatment Unit became a hub for government, bilateral organizations, and partner representatives working on cross-border surveillance and safe transport for patients and laboratory samples.
By the end of the project, PCI fully transitioned the Ebola Treatment Unit to Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and supported the planning and launch of epidemic preparedness and response activities throughout the county.
PCI’s support to these and other facilities directly benefited nearly 850,000 individuals.
Strengthening Health Systems
While responding to the Ebola virus emergency, PCI helped strengthen the ability of Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to deliver high quality healthcare services. PCI trained health care workers in regional health facilities on topics such as triage and isolation, laboratory safety guidelines, waste management, and proper use of Personal Protective Equipment.
- In total, PCI provided:
- Emergency temporary triage and isolation units at 25 health facilities in four counties
- Training for 1,241 health care providers from 65 health facilities on infection prevention and control
- Regular on-site infection prevention and control mentoring for healthcare providers at 78 health facilities along with supplies, before and after the response
- Infrastructure support and need-based training for 112 health facilities in four intervention counties
- Training for 1,050 community health volunteers in public health surveillance and ongoing support and mentorship throughout the response
Mobilizing Communities to Prevent the Spread of Ebola
In addition to national-level surveillance and contact tracing, PCI worked with Ministry of Health teams on case management and community mobilization.
PCI engaged mothers; community health volunteers; agriculture extension groups; disaster management committees; care groups; water, sanitation and hygiene committees; traditional chiefs; religious leaders; and trained traditional midwives in comprehensive education and social and behavior change efforts.
Information included key messages on how transmission occurs, how to prevent transmission, and what to do in case of infection which these groups then shared with neighbors, peers, colleagues, family, and community members.
To manage misinformation and rumors, PCI helped to develop and utilize the DeySay Rumor Tracker—an SMS system created to track, identify, and respond to information gaps that fed the rumors originating at the community level. Used the DeySay Tracker data, PCI worked closely with community health volunteers and community leaders to address and dispel myths and reinstate trust in the healthcare system.
These approaches were critical component of PCI’s efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola virus.
PCI’s successful fight against the Ebola virus was made possible by partnerships with Government of Liberia, Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Center for Disease Control, USAID/OFDA, and the World Health Organization.