Y Care International has published a new report sharing the key findings and recommendations from the emergency response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The Ebola virus devastated West Africa and in particular the slum communities which were already crippled by poverty. In Liberia, there were 10,650 cases of Ebola and over 4,800 deaths – a staggering survival rate of only 55 per cent – and in neighbouring Sierra Leone there were over 14,000 reported cases of Ebola and over 3,900 deaths.
Y Care International led an emergency response which aimed to stop the spread of the virus by raising awareness on protection measures and increasing access to water and sanitation facilities, and to address increased food insecurity. 1,000 youth volunteers were trained and reached a further 80,000 people in local communities with life-saving information on Ebola.
In addition, hand washing facilities and permanent toilets were built in slums and schools, to ensure that school students and community members were able to wash their hands regularly to reduce the spread of the disease.
The report evaluates our approach to community sensitisation, food insecurity, conflict management and psychosocial support. It also outlines recommendations for future emergency response approaches including putting an emphasis on engaging local young volunteers.
In the foreword, Y Care International CEO Adam Leach says: “This evaluation report provides important learning with valuable recommendations about the engagement, participation and delivery of humanitarian response through young people, local communities and national organisations such as the YMCA.
We urge all in national and international responding agencies and donors, policy and decision-makers, to adopt and implement the recommendations in future disaster response as well as ongoing, longer-term programmes. If this is done, some lasting benefit would be gained from the horror of the recent Ebola outbreak.”