Plan’s senior managers Visits Liberia to monitor Ebola’s response

Senior managers from the Headquarters, UK and USA offices of the development organisation Plan International will be visiting Liberia and Sierra Leone from 12th to 16th January 2014.

While in Sierra Leone and Liberia, they will visit Plan’s emergency response programs and meet with staff and expresstheir thanks to them for their unfailing supportas theybattle to help eradicate the disease hitting the West Africa region.

During the visit the senior managers will also meet with governmentrepresenativesand donor partners as well aslocalCommunities affected by the virus. They will pay special attention to their feedback from those communities about what their on-going needs are.

Plan International is on the ground fighting the outbreak in communities across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone through public health information campaigns – including radio broadcasts;by providing medical kits, distributing food aid, training health workers in effective infection control procedures, and setting-up hand washing stations at schools, health posts and other public facilities to help keep families safe.
Towards the end of last year, Plan International also set up isolation units in Sierra Leone called Ebola Community Care Units.
“Since early November, our Ebola Community Care Units have been contributing to the struggle against the Ebola virus. Plan has set up water and sanitation facilities and functioning water supplies for the new units; contracted caterers to provide food for the patients and staff and put in place a system to ensure the payment of the health workers in the Units,”said Jonathan Mitchell, Director of International Programmes for Plan.

“This visit, will be an opportunity to see what is happening on the ground and to review our strategy if need be, even if until now it seems working well. Plan has delivered a variety of supplies including personal protective equipment, basic drugs, beds, fuel, food and buckets and is also providing logistic support and transportation for staff and patients. Plan is doing everything it can to ensure safe, secure functioning of the care units”, added Mitchell.

Ms Tanya Barron, Chief Executive for the Plan office at the UK, will also be part of the trip. She said that the Ebola Community Care Units in Sierra Leone are multi-agency initiatives. Funding has been provided by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID); training is provided by DFID and the UK Ministry of Defence; technical guidance and technical equipment by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the buildings were s supplied/built by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and UNICEF; and the clinical supervision is by the Ministry of Health, sometimes supported by Sierra Leonean military doctors in civilian clothing.

Barron and Mitchell will be accompanied by Ms Tessie SanMartin, Chief Executive at Plan Washington DC office as in Liberiaone Plan’s partners is the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).fundinghas been lined up for Libierafor a similar multi-agency model for Community Care Units
Editor’s notes:

•    As of 7th January (UNMEER) there were 20,712 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola reported and 8,220 deaths.
•    Founded 77 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest child rights organisations in the world.  We work in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty.Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.
•    Plan started working in Liberia in 1982. The organisation works in partnership with the communities and the government to ensure poor children have access to quality education, good health and adequate sanitation, and that they are well protected. The organisation has 12,250 sponsored children spread over 176 communities in its programme areas.
•    Plan is in Sierra Leone since 1976, helping poor children to access their rights to education, health, livelihood, sanitation and protection. Plan’s programmes benefit 700,000 children in 1,126 communities across the country.

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