By: Henry Gboluma, Jr.
Zuie Town-Gbarpolu County – Equip Liberia has provided training for 80 Community Health Committee (CHC) in Gbarpolu County. The training exercise was done by the organization Community Support Officers (CSOs) assigned in the 80 communities in both Kongba and Gbarma Districts. Topics covered included keeping Sick family members separate and survival integration.
According to Prince Sarnor, one of the facilitators who conducted the training in Daniel Town from March 6-7, 2016 in Kongba District CHC must help to contain sick people. “If someone is sick with Ebola-like symptoms, keep them in their own area. Do not touch them, Call 4455 and also tell the community leaders.”
Prince further informed participants to encourage sick people go to the clinic soon. “There are trained health workers and medicine available always at the health facility for you.” The facilitator also presented the key message on survival integration by saying: “welcome survivals and anyone who life has been touched by Ebola back in the community-encourage and help them to take part in community activities”.
Similar training activities were also conducted throughout the 80 Equip Liberia‘s ECAP2 communities in the county. Equip is currently working with 400 trained CHC members and 20 CSOs in the project targeted communities.
“This training is important again. It is helping us, our communities and the clinic; we are working with our community-without pay”; Madam Arinia Dephue, one of the CHC members (participant) from Sign-Board village in Kongba explains to LocalVoicesLiberia. Also speaking to reporters was the CHC chairman of Kortee’s Village Mr. James Vaye: “with all these trainings, my worry is how our work will actually continual after Equip leave the community? We want Government herself and even partners or NGO to help us so that we can keep working for our community on health issues”, James appealed.
Meanwhile, appearing on a local radio popular talk show, Mr. Auther David, the Project Officer of Equip Liberia said ECAP2 second project came about because of the weak health system and lack of community preparedness and coordinated approach to address major health issues in Liberia.
He said ECAP2 goal is to see the “Risk of EVD is reduced through improved health systems and community preparedness”. The project officer also disclosed that CHC are having weekly meetings and attending monthly Community Health Development Committee (CHDC) meetings at varies catchment health facilities in the two districts. “CHC or CHDC are community health advocators-these people are trained to link community to the clinic”. The project Officer pointed out.
Mr. David also said CSOs are in the field to guide the CHC and community members to do their own Community Health Risk Reduction Plans (CHRRP) and implement same in the community through the support of Mercy Corps Micro Grant for qualified CHRRP activities through Equip Liberia.
The Equip Liberia Project officer assigned in Gbarpolu use the media to thank the Gbarpolu County Health Team (GCHT) and the community for their coordination and continual support toward the implementation of the ECAP2 project in the county.
According to Mr David, the ECAP2 project is being implemented by Equip Liberia in coordination with GCHT through the District Health Team with funding from USAID through Mercy Corps. The project is expected to end in May 2016.