PAYNESVILLE, May 26, 2016 --- Today Mercy Corps Liberia hosted a national workshop that brought together Liberian NGOs, officials from the Ministry of Health, USAID and media partners who have contributed to a 1-year community health program known as ECAP 2, which has now directly benefitted 1.3 million Liberians with critical health information through community campaigns.
ECAP 2 partners have worked with communities to reduce risks of Ebola and other infectious diseases, and have strengthened, trained and mentored over 1,500 Community Health Committees (CHCs). They have also engaged clinics to build trust and usage of health facilities so that Liberians seek the best possible care and treatment when they are sick.
Speaking at the conference, Penelope Anderson, Country Director of Mercy Corps said that the ECAP program showed the great things that could be achieved when communities are genuinely empowered to take charge of their health through strong local partnerships.
“We are immensely proud of what the ECAP network has achieved over the last 18 months, from tackling Ebola to building community resilience to future outbreaks,” she said. “Together we have helped ensure that ECAP communities know what to do and where to go if an outbreak should occur, and we have contributed to healthier communities and healthier lives.”
With support from Mercy Corps, PSI, IREX, USAID and the Ministry of Health, Phase 2 of the Ebola Community Action Platform (ECAP 2) trained and engaged 23 Liberian NGOs to engage communities on major preventive health issues, and promote vigilance to Ebola, as well as 27 community radio stations.
As a result of this program, more than 970,000 people heard ECAP 2 health messages on community radio; community-level campaigns provided health information to at least 335,000 more people spread across all 15 counties, and over 1,500 local health groups known as CHCs have mobilized communities to take action to improve hygiene, sanitation and reduce their risks of disease.
The conference took place at the Golden Gate Hotel in Paynesville and aims to share experiences from all those who have been involved in ECAP 2, which closes in July 2016.
ECAP was initially established at the peak of the Ebola outbreak and was Liberia’s largest network of organizations doing social mobilization on the Ebola response.