December 30, 2014
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) SITRep report for 24 December 2014 stated there were 7977 cases of Ebola reported since the beginning of the outbreak. Based on the confirmed mortality rate we can estimate there are 4500 Ebola survivors. Fighting Ebola is still the priority of the MoH, however these survivors are in need of support from communities and the MoH. On December 22, the MoHSW started an assessment of survivors to understand what they need to be successful.
Based on information from internal sources there was a high need to establish standard operating procedures for the handling of the data on Ebola patients. There have been some problems with the names of survivors getting out, so there is a need to standardize the procedures for how this information is handled. Protecting the names and information of these individuals is an important part of the support the government can provide to the survivors.
The psychosocial plan to help those affected by Ebola includes a number of priorities including:
· Support affected families and children including communities to reduce anxiety and fear
· Work with partners to improve the quality of care for patients and their families
· Provide survivor kits and psychological follow-up for affected families.
· Facilitate the psychological process for families from investigation through bereavement
Currently, many of these goals are being undermined by fragmented programs to support survivors. One of the needs that has been identified is a better registration system for survivors to help develop a stronger network and quickly get people the services they need. There are programs for survivors throughout Liberia executed by various NGOs but many of them focus on providing food and the distribution of goods is described as unequal, or the support is limited. Additionally, there are support meetings held for survivors but many of the participants lack the transportation needed to attend meetings. Many Ebola survivors lost most of their possessions and even their homes as people destroyed clothes and bedding to try and stop the spread of Ebola. It costs approximately $1400 for a family of 6 focused on non-food items like mattresses, pots and pans and clothing. Currently, the MoHSW does not have a donor to provide these non-food items to survivors and their families.