On Thursday, June 28, 2018, the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) project, through the Ebola Transmission Prevention and Survivor Services (ETP&SS) hosted a national learning conference for partners and stakeholders at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Monrovia.
Advancing Partners & Communities selected the Liberia College of Physicians and Surgeons, a graduate medical residency program that supports advanced training for physicians across a range of medical specialties, to independently manage the complex medical and surgical cases of Ebola survivors, as well as to offer specialty care to the general population.
Advancing Partners & Communities supported a post-basic mental health training program at the Phebe Paramedical Training Institute to reduce barriers to mental health care in Liberia. The program has trained 38 mental health clinicians to better understand, screen for, and provide mental health services.
William, a hospital worker in Monrovia, Liberia, contracted Ebola while helping patients during the outbreak three years ago. He was lucky to have survived. But a few months after he was declared Ebola-free, he started having trouble with his eyes. At first they would tear when he tried to read or write, then everything started getting dim. Soon, he could barely see.
The Ebola epidemic severely impacted Liberia’s public health system and left a large population of survivors, many of whom continue to have medical problems related to the virus. From 2016–2018, the USAID-funded Advancing Partners & Communities (APC) project, in collaboration with the Liberian Ministry of Health, strengthened specialty services, rehabilitated hospitals and health facilities, and enhanced health system capacity for managing Ebola survivor care. Health workers in four key counties are now better prepared to manage a future outbreak and to respond to the health conditions of survivors.
Ebola survivors formed the National Ebola Survivor Network of Liberia (NESNL) in September 2014, but they struggled for some time to define and advocate for their needs as a cohesive group. USAID’s Ebola Transmission Prevention & Survivor Services program (ETP&SS), implemented by the Advancing Partners & Communities Project, stepped in to support the organization of their elections and formalize national and county leadership for NESNL.
Women leaders of survivor organizations in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are stepping up across the region to address challenges for Ebola survivors, while promoting gender equality in their countries.
In late September 2017, APC partnered with Samaritan’s Purse, ELWA Hospital, and the National Institutes for Health to bring in cataract surgeons from Emory University and Johns Hopkins University Hospitals to perform cataract surgeries for Ebola survivors in Liberia.
Advancing Partners & Communities, through its Ebola Transmission Prevention and Survivor Services program, donated medical equipment to several public health facilities in Liberia including, Redemption Hospital, C.H. Rennie Hospital, Phebe Hospital, and Duport Road Health Center, among others.