At least two hundred community volunteers have been trained to conduct Active Case Finding in district 16 in Montserrado County. The one day exercise was conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Montserrado Community Based Initiative (MCBI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The training of the 200 volunteers is intended to scale up the work of 1,300 volunteers already deployed in at least 5 districts in Montserrado County involved in identifying Ebola cases, conducting door-to-door sensitization and provide psycho-social among others.
The training of the two hundred community volunteers comes as the response to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic moves to a second phase, with the focus shifting from slowing transmission to ending the epidemic in Liberia and the other two most affected countries.
Experts say, to achieve this goal quickly, efforts must move away from rapidly building infrastructure to ensure that capacity for case finding, case management, safe burials, and community engagement is used as effectively as possible.
United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Field Associate Netty Joe said the volunteers were taken from seventy-four (74) communities in lower and central Virginia in the St. Paul Bridge community..
She said one hundred and seventy (170) of the two hundred volunteers came from lower and central Virginia while thirty (30) came from Zuma Town, a community where the newest Ebola outbreak is being reported in Montserrado County.
“A total of 7,468 houses are being targeted in the two communities, with 2,051 in lower and 5,417 in central Virginia respectively said Ms Joe.
She said the training of the 200 community volunteers was first in a series planned for the year 2015 intended to target 2,300 volunteers.
She indicated that the training brings to 1,500 the number of community volunteers are trained so far under the MCBI project to conduct Active Case Findings.
The MCBI is a UNDP supported project that takes into account the need for community involvement in the national Ebola response to stop the spread of the virus and eventually eliminate it from Liberia.
The project initially mobilized 1,300 community volunteers who are identifying the sick and dead and carrying out door-to-door community sensitization on the prevention of Ebola infection;
According to the WHO, cases of Ebola incidence continue to fall in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Case incidence declined from a peak of over 300 new confirmed cases per week in August and September 2014 to 4 confirmed cases in the 7 days to 25 January 2015, compared with 8 cases the previous week in Liberia.
All of the four confirmed cases were reported from Montserrado County with Bomi reporting three (3) probable cases. Guinea reported 30 confirmed cases in the week of 25 January, up from 20 confirmed cases in the previous week.