Liberia WASH Sector Strategizes on how to interrupt Ebola Transmission

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene {WASH) cluster partners have conducted a two-day workshop in Monrovia aimed at designing county-level strategies to interrupt the spread of the Ebola virus.

The two-day workshop, held under theme "Keep safe-Keep serving", brought together both local and international WASH partners to discuss waste management, hygiene promotion and water provision, amongst other topics.

Sheldon Yetts, UNICEF Country Representative, opening the workshop said: “Our gathering is all about partnership – the NGO community and the Liberian Government,” giving special mention to the County Health Officers who were in attendance.
M
r. Yetts thanked authorities from leeward counties for being part of such a crucial workshop and encouraged them to take effective WASH strategies back to their counties to reduce the rate of Ebola infection.

He reminded county officials that they play pivotal role in the dissemination of messages that will support the fight against the Ebola virus.

Various presenters were invited to address the diverse approaches being taken to combat the disease, among them senior medical advisors to the Government of Liberia.

Speaking on the strategy to interrupt the spread of Ebola in Liberia, the Ebola Incident Manager at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Miatta Gbayan asserted that more should be done beyond healthcare facilities to break the chain of transmission.

By way of background, Dr. Gbayan charted the trend of the outbreak from March of this year until now, noting an extended period of calm before a rapid infection rate resumed in May.

The Ebola incident Manager indicated that the trend of the virus outbreak shows that more can be done at the county-and community-level to prevent a further increase of Ebola cases.

She named Laboratory testing, health promotion, social mobilization among others as key thematic areas in the Ebola Response Strategy.

Assistant Public Works Minister for Community Services, George Yarngo, who attended the entirety of the workshop, said the gathering will provide another platform on which issues of the outbreak can addressed.

“This Emergency is not only a medical emergency, but a public crisis that requires the efforts of every spectrum and fabric of the society”, Minister Yarngo explained.

Over the two days, Assistant Minster Yarngo urged participants to consider complementary strategies, such hygiene promotion and social mobilization that will strengthen the national fight against Ebola.

The workshop is part of greater efforts by partners in the WASH sector of the country to combat the Ebola in response to a call to action from the National Task Force on Ebola.

The position of the Task Force to invite the WASH sector to form an integral part in the fight against Ebola based on the significant role the sector plays in disease prevention and control.

About one month ago, the sector announced the National WASH Ebola Away Strategy as part of its contributions.

The WASH sector campaign was officially launched a week ago in several communities in Monrovia with the distribution of hygienic items and hand washing buckets.

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