“You stood while others fled… UNDP Staff tells Active Case FindersJul 1, 2016
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Team Leader for its Governance Programme in Liberia has termed the over five thousand community volunteers otherwise known as Active Case Finders (ACFs) as the “real heroes and heroines” of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) fight in Liberia, mainly Montserrado County.
Nessie Golakai Gould said community volunteers selflessly stood firm in their neighborhoods and communities to ensure that the EVD is stemmed in Montserrado County and across Liberia.
“You stood while others fled for their lives. You brave the storm and made the ultimate sacrifices to fight Ebola,” she added at the certification and honoring of community volunteers.
UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Health under the Montserrado Community Based Initiative (CBI) project, recruited and deployed five thousand four hundred (5,400) Active Case Finders across Montserrado County to carry out a strategic community based project which immensely helped to identify, track and document Ebola related contacts, reduce denial, search for the sick, uncover hidden bodies, and increase awareness in Montserrado County on EVD through a robust door-to-door campaign.
Ms. Gould paid tribute to outgoing Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (DSRSG), UN Resident Coordinator (RC) and UNDP Resident Representative- Antonio Vigilante for his vision and farsightedness that helped make the work of the CBI a success.
Providing an overview of the project, CBI Project Coordinator, Dr. Mosoka Fallah said the initiative was birthed as a result of the EVD outbreak in West Point, one of Liberia’s densely populated slum communities.
He said under the project, the West Point outbreak was brought under complete control in November 2014 as a result of the project’s interventions.
“As complex and condensed as West Point is, it was the first community to go to zero. In November, we recorded zero case of Ebola in West Point which was confirmed by the African Union Epidemiologists. It was ordinary people like you who took the risk…” Dr. Fallah told the over five thousand volunteers.
Also speaking, Deputy Health Minister for Epidemic and Emergency Response Tolbert Nyenswah said the selfless sacrifices of community volunteers during the fight against the deadly Ebola virus deserve commendation and gratitude.
“We are in this hall because of the CBI program…. Let me use this occasion to congratulate all of you, CBI staff and congratulate yourselves. You went house-to-house, community-to-community, finding dead bodies and sick people. You made it possible.” Minister. Nyenswah said. He thanked UNDP for the support to the CBI program in Liberia. The Deputy Minister also recommended that the impacts, both health and social of the CBI program be documented to inform the future.
Several persons shared their testimonies about the impact of the CBI project on their lives. Sumoyea Yorgbor, a resident of the Soul Clinic Community said she would have gone mad after the deaths of her husband and son due to EVD.
“CBI save my life. I just want to appreciate the CBI for the role they play in my life and all of our partners who have been there for us…. It is not an easy thing to lose your husband and a son, watch them die and you don’t know what to do…” Madam Yorgbor said.
She added: “I don’t have much to say but, to extend my thanks and appreciation to CBI, because I was going mad. I was walking and talking, I was off, but yet, Dr. Fallah and team helped me to be stable. It’s so much that words are insufficient to express, once again, thanks to the CBI….”
As part of activities leading to the honoring and certification ceremony, the CBI team commenced with a clean-up exercise in Montserrado County, sports jamboree at the BYC Sports pitch in Monrovia.
At an elaborate certification program held in Monrovia, the United Nations System in Liberia, development and other important personalities who contributed to the EVD fight were honored.Contact
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