CBM is working with local partners to strengthen the resilience of beneficiaries of their programmes including persons with disabilities during this crisis.
According to the latest report [a] from the World Health Organisation (WHO), "the total number of probable, confirmed and suspected cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa was 4366, with 2218 deaths, as at 7 September 2014. The countries affected are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone".
Ebola has had profound effect on the social, economic, and political structures of the affected countries.
To help counter some of these effects, CBM is working with local partners in Sierra Leone to guarantee the sustainability of their programmes and to strengthen the resilience of beneficiaries of their programmes including persons with disabilities during this crisis.
Reducing psychological trauma associated with Ebola
In Sierra Leone, the Enabling Access to Mental Health programme has developed with CBM support a proposal to provide psychosocial and psychological support to people affected by Ebola as well as preventative psychosocial interventions aimed at children and their families.
Dr Carmen Valle from CBM has also collaborated with other organisations such as WHO, UNICEF and World Vision to adapt a Psychological First Aid manual (English version, French version) to provide training contextualised to Ebola. The manual will be applied in Sierra Leone and in Liberia and will also be available in French.
Informing and educating the communities
In Sierra Leone, CBM is developing a plan with two eye health implementing partners in the capital city, Freetown, and the Northern Province to sensitise communities in their catchment areas on self-prevention measures against Ebola.
In view of the danger posed by Ebola on the entire region, CBM is working on vulnerability-reduction and preparedness measures with the West Africa Federation for Persons with Disabilities (WAFOD / FOAPH) and their partners. All those organisations will coordinate their efforts on how to prepare, disseminate, educate and communicate about Ebola in their countries.
Update on our staff in Africa
None of our CBM expatriate staff are specialists in contagious diseases therefore they are still unable to return to their postings but they are supporting our partners remotely. Our regional office in West Africa has established contact with the WHO regional office and the UNICEF regional office to explore potential areas of cooperation.
[a] WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 3 - 12 September 2014