PCI Responds to Ebola Outbreak in Liberia with Supplies, Awareness Campaigns

San Diego CA (PRWEB) July 29, 2014

As the Ebola outbreak in Liberia worsens, PCI (Project Concern International) is working with its partners to both purchase critical emergency supplies locally, as well as ship a donation of supplies from the US to Liberia. These supplies will contain materials used to control the spread of the disease that is impacting the most heavily populated areas of the country.

With a large programmatic presence in Liberia, PCI remains very involved in the response to the Ebola outbreak in the region. The current epidemic remains serious: the total number of confirmed, suspected, and probable cases stands at 196 (up from 133 on July 10), with 116 confirmed/suspected deaths (up from 80 on July 10).

PCI reaches over 45,000 people with its efforts to raise awareness on Ebola-through Mothers’ Groups, disaster risk reduction committees, clinics, and outreach to farmers, for example. In addition, PCI is providing the central Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Work (MOHSW) with technical and logistical support to address the epidemic in the capital city, Monrovia, and in Bong County.

“Community awareness is vital to preventing further transmissions,” said PCI’s Liberian Country Director Jolene Mullins. “Without the necessary training and materials to practice strict sanitary procedures, Ebola can be spread to those who are in charge of treating and preventing the disease.”

An assessment of the outbreak conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) identified a number of factors contributing to the continuation of the outbreak, including “low coverage of contact tracing; persisting denial and resistance in the community; weak data management; inadequate infection prevention and control practices, especially in peripheral health facilities; and weak leadership and coordination at sub-national levels” (WHO Ebola Virus Disease Update 18 July 2014). In addition, limited resources and personnel capacity are hindering the response.

The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF), which, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body and are often accompanied by bleeding. Ebola later spreads from human-to-human via contact with bodily fluids containing the virus. Ebola can also be spread through contact with an object contaminated with infected secretions.

PCI provides humanitarian assistance to people affected by disasters and complex emergencies; helps governments, local organizations, and communities better manage risk and respond to emergencies when they arise; and integrates efforts to help reduce vulnerability to disasters into all of its ongoing programs.