The 2014 Ebola outbreak is affecting multiple countries in West Africa, according to the World Bank, there are currently only one to two doctors available for every 100,000 people in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola treatment centers are unable to provide sufficient care due to a shortage of properly trained health care workers. In rural communities, it is difficult to monitor patients and there are currently limited prevention and education outreach efforts.
As an initial response, the GE Foundation is donating Ksh. 1.7 Billion to help launch a coalition led by Partners in Health and Last Mile Health to scale-up Ebola response efforts and rebuild rural primary health systems in Liberia. Partners in Health will also be working with Wellbody Alliance and other private sector partners on a broader response effort in Sierra Leone. The Coalition builds on over 40 years of collective experience.
Together, the Coalition will partner with the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Ministries of Health to execute the project in four rural counties/districts.
The Coalition will train, equip and support 500 health workers across 47 primary health centers and will establish two Ebola Treatment Centers at two District/County Hospitals. In addition, the Coalition will train and support 800 community health workers to carry out community-based education, prevention, surveillance and monitoring, and maintain essential health services in 500 villages. The Coalition will also provide technical assistance to Ministries of Health at national level to support transition from Ebola response to strengthen health systems for the future.
Jay Ireland, President & CEO GE Africa, said, “GE is proud to support the Coalition with Partners in Health to scale-up Ebola response efforts and rebuild rural primary health systems in West Africa. Fighting Ebola requires a comprehensive strategy – from Ebola treatment in hospitals to revitalizing primary health care and community-based services – that could transform how the world responds to epidemics and rebuilds public health systems.”