Connecting local responses around the world
French version below
Let us offer our experience to communities that are currently faced with Ebola. Please upload on Youtube, FB, Google + a short video of 3-4 minutes that states who you are, the experience with Ebola, Cholera, AIDS, avian flu you want to share, and what principle for action you learned from that experience. Please link your video to the request posted in Ning. Rituu and the Share team will be happy to help you.
This short video from Dr Miatudila Malonga who was on the team who gave the virus the name Ebola in 1976 hits the nail on its head!
Soyons solidaires, et offrons notre experience aux communautés confrontées à Ebola. Faites une petite vidéo de trois quatre minutes, qui explique qui vous êtes, quelle expérience vous souhaitez partager, (la réponse à Ebola, au sida au choléra, à la grippe aviaire,) et téléchargez-la sur l'une ou l'autre plateforme (Youtube, FB, Google plus) puis copiez le lien ici!
Jean-François Ruppol a été l'un des premiers à se rendre à Yambuku lors de la première épidémie à Yambuku. Ecoutez son expérience. Cela vaut la peine!
Dr Sara Stulac, Partners in Health in Training for Ebola: An Interview with PIH’s Dr. Sara Stulac
Excerpt from her interview
Getting community members involved, getting people who have recovered from Ebola to speak with neighbors, is one if the best strategies I can think of. This same strategy has helped us reduce stigma around HIV in other countries.
When Communities make their own plan:
Thanks to Bobby Ramakant for sharing this link
Courage is not the absence of fear: responding to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia by Linda Meta Mobulaae.
An extract from the article:
A myriad of factors have led to an inadequate response to this horrendous outbreak, from the lack of public health and health care delivery infrastructure to the persistence of unsafe burial practices and an environment of mistrust. Today, many Liberians believe either that Ebola does not exist or that patients with the disease are being experimented upon at clinics. In order to contain this outbreak, we must have a thorough understanding of cultural practices. And to overcome the mistrust, it is paramount that we use credible voices from Liberian communities to reinforce health promotion messages that are tailored to Liberian culture.
Acting Up for Ebola: International HIV Activists Launch Solidarity Callwww.thebody.com/content/75142/acting-up-for-ebola-international-hiv...
"Epidemics need to be ignored to flourish. We learned that from AIDS," says Gregg Gonsalves, a leading voice in the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) for HIV. "This was a 'manufactured' crisis. I mean that in the sense that the epidemic began in March and it was clear within a few weeks that it was spreading dangerously. The world decided not to act and even now the response is not commensurate with the need. We need to stand with West Africa and we should fight for them. We know how to push governments to do the right thing. Act Up for Ebola!"
ICW highlights dangerous threat Ebola quarantines pose to women living with HIV in West African countries.
October 29, 2014, Abuja, Nigeria, West Africa – As the world grapples with the deadliest outbreak of Ebola to date, the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW), the only global network for and by women living with HIV, releases a statement expressing its deep concerns about the unintended but potentially deadly consequences of the Ebola crisis and response for people living with HIV. ICW’s statement highlights reports from ICW members living in countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak, particularly Liberia and Sierra Leone, that measures taken in the name of public health have severely restricted their safe access to essential anti‑retroviral medications (ARVs).
ICW reports that women living with HIV under quarantine have been unable to access their medications. Women living with HIV who are not currently quarantined must overcome extreme fear to go to health facilities and hospitals to access their ARVs, and those who do make it to health facilities have frequently been turned away because the facilities have closed or do not have the capacity to see them. Says one ICW member in Sierra Leone, “Everything here is scary. Women are being forced to disclose their status. They are afraid to go to the hospital. Women under quarantine cannot get their ARVs. You do not get attention because the medical staff is also afraid.”
Consistent access to ARVs is critical for people living with HIV to stop the progression of HIV and to ensure that they do not develop deadly resistance to their ARV medications. This is particularly critical for those in the West African context who may only have access to specific ARV formulations. If people living with HIV develop resistance to the form of ARV treatment they have access to, they are unlikely to be able to obtain access to additional drug lines. For women living with HIV, consistent access to ARVs and antenatal care services are essential for the prevention of vertical transmission of HIV during pregnancy.
The statement also reports that women living with HIV face forced disclosure of their HIV status in multiple contexts, including to food aid workers in order to ask for assistance in obtaining their medications and to security personnel at checkpoints, and in order to gain access to health facilities. Disclosure of HIV status places women at increased risk of stigma, discrimination, and violence in their homes and communities.
In addition to lack of access to essential medicines, food and water shortages among quarantined residents create the potential for further humanitarian crisis. ICW’s statement highlights that women living in quarantined areas have reported that the food provided by the government is often expired and not fit for human consumption. In other areas, ICW members have reported that individuals under quarantine must rely solely on the support of families and communities to share what meager food and water they have.
A lack of access to adequate and proper nutrition is particularly dangerous for people living with HIV who require adequate nutrition to help manage side effects from medications and to strengthen their immune systems to fight off opportunistic infections. Less restrictive measures, such as individual isolation and voluntary limits on movement, in combination with home-based care and food aid, are effective and demonstrate a greater respect for human rights.
“While we appreciate the gravity of this crisis and the significant challenges faced by governments and international agencies coordinating a rapid response, we must ensure that fear has no place in our public health responses, and ensure that people have access to the essential medicines they need. We should respond to this outbreak from a place of compassion and with deep respect for human rights,” says Rebecca Matheson, ICW Global Director. “The health, rights, and dignity of people living under quarantine, particularly women living with HIV, cannot be ignored,” adds Assumpta Reginald, ICW West Africa Regional Coordinator.
In its statement, ICW calls upon the governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea to adopt less restrictive public health measures and demands that, under all circumstances, women living with HIV are provided feasible, safe, and non-discriminatory access to their essential ARV medications and treatment. It also urges governments around the world and global institutions to increase their support for a response to Ebola that reflects human rights principles and responds to the specific concerns of people living with HIV.
For more information please contact:
Assumpta Reginald, ICW West Africa Regional Coordinator
Rachel Oostendorp, ICW Global Office
Thanks for posting Rachel!
Lessons from Nigeria’s Successful Ebola Response
On July 20, 2014. Mr. Sawyer, a Liberian, fell ill on a flight from Monrovia to Lagos. On arrival in Lagos, Nigeria, he was rushed to the First Consultant Hospital, which originally treated him for malaria. But as his health worsened and began to manifest symptoms of Ebola, including diarrhea and vomiting, he was prevented from leaving the hospital. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 19 Nigerians, mostly medical officials of the hospital, were infected with the virus, with seven deaths. All of the infections in Lagos - Nigeria’s economic and commercial capital, and the second fastest growing city in Africa - were traced to Mr. Sawyer.
On October 20, 2014, three months after the first Ebola case was discovered in Nigeria, WHO sent out another announcement - Nigeria is now Ebola free. This news brought great relief to Nigerians.
Having claimed 9,976 deaths, primarily in four countries (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone), the fight against Ebola in Africa is showing signs of victory. No new cases have been announced in Liberia for weeks and the country’s last Ebola patient was released from hospital care on March 5; the countdown to Liberia being declared Ebola-free is officially on. Guinea and Sierra Leone have each recorded an increase in new cases in the last few weeks, after a period of decline, but many are hopeful that the trend will revert and eventually go down to zero cases.
In the meantime, here are some key lessons from Nigeria on stomping out Ebola and for any potential outbreaks of epidemic proportions in the future:
Image Credit: USAtoday.com
Please find this interesting article from IDS. Thanks to Michele Tarsilla from Gender and Evaluation community for sharing it.http://gendereval.ning.com/profiles/blogs/very-interesting-piece-on...
I found the following IDS blog to be of great interest. It is particularly recommended to those working on evaluations of systemic and structural issues perpetuating gender inequities and violence in a variety of contexts. To access the blog, please click on the following link:
Hi Jean Louis,
I am working with Pauline Oosterhoff (IDS) and very happy to share this article from her.
Local Engagement in Ebola Outbreaks and Beyond in Sierra Leone
Containment strategies for Ebola rupture fundamental features of social, political and religious life. Control efforts that involve local people and appreciate their perspectives, social structures and institutions are therefore vital.
Unfortunately such approaches have not been widespread in West Africa where response strategies have been predominantly top-down. Authoritarian tactics have had questionable effect, potentially worsening the epidemic and contributing to social and economic burdens. Failure to involve local people and their concerns is often justified by budgetary and practical restraints such as lack of time and resources.
However, some of the current Ebola responses reflect problematic assumptions about local ignorance and capability. These sentiments are deeply rooted, having evolved with unequal power dynamics over long periods of time. The emerging evidence on successful local responses suggests that local populations can learn rapidly to adjust high-risk traditional practices and reduce transmission in conjunction with solid public health measures. Recognising and supporting local resilience will be essential in successfully and sustainably engaging populations in effective Ebola responses.
Evidence is mounting that in Liberia too, communities made the difference!
See this report from NPR.