ODF communities in Liberia report zero cases of Ebola

Community Meeting

Community meeting (Photo: Global Communities)

After battling the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) for a year, on May 9, 2015, Liberia was finally declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO). As per various reports early this year, several Open Defecation Free (ODF) communities in Liberia which were triggered as a part of CLTS programmes did not experience an outbreak of the deadly EVD.

Handwashing in community triggered during Ebola

Handwashing in a community triggered during Ebola outbreak (Photo: Global Communities)

During the Ebola outbreak, Global Communities, a U.S.-based international development non-profit active in water, sanitation and hygiene implementation, capitalized on human capacity developed through its CLTS work to respond to the crisis. Nearly 600 natural leaders trained and engaged through the USAID-funded Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWASH) program were activated to deliver essential Ebola prevention and health messaging in some of Liberia’s hardest-hit counties.

Reed-Based Handwashing Station

Reed-based handwashing station(Photo: Global Communities)
Earlier, through IWASH, 284 of 351 partner communities became ODF in Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties and it was interesting to observe that these ODF communities reported zero cases of Ebola , although some of these communities were adjacent to the communities very hard hit by the disease.
Global Communities is currently conducting an external evaluation to investigate the potential connection between ODF achievement and Ebola resistance.

To read more about Global Communities’ Approach to CLTS, please click here.

Date: May 12, 2015

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