Liberia

JSI has been helping to strengthen the health system and health services in Liberia beginning in the late 1980's, first with the USAID-funded ENTERPRISE Project and with the Resources for Child Health (REACH) and, then, after the civil war ended, beginning in 2006, with the Basic Support for Child Survival (BASICS) projects, which brought essential health services to those affected by the country’s civil war.

With funding from USAID and small private foundations, JSI has worked to rebuild Liberia’s post-conflict health system, strengthen the health supply chain, improve the nutritional status of vulnerable populations, and build the capacity of the civil service. All this work is done in partnership and JSI has cultivated a close collaborating relationship with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) in particular.

The USAID flagship health project, Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS), helped strengthen Liberia's health system after the country's 14-year civil war. The project also worked to build the capacity of Ministry of Health and Social Welfare staff at national and county levels. Once the scope of the Ebola epidemic became clear—particularly when healthcare workers began to be severely affected—RBHS redirected to focus all efforts on supporting the ministry’s response to the epidemic. In particular, JSI led infection prevention and control activities for health workers.

In November 2014 JSI was awarded a cooperative agreement by USAID’sOffice of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to scale up Ebola infection prevention and control (IPC) training to health workers and health facility support staff in all 15 counties and to develop distribution systems to ensure health facilities have a reliable supply of PPE and other infection prevention and control supplies.

Supply chain logistics is a core competency at JSI, and in Liberia the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT has built the in-country capacity to forecast the need for, support of the roll-out of the integrated logistics system’s standard operating procedures (SOPs), trained workers in those procedures, and monitors system performance. Through the project, JSI also set up national distribution systems, while also significantly reducing loss-to-theft. Since the onslaught of Ebola, the DELIVER project has played a coordinating role with other logistics providers, including the CDC and UN agencies, in addition to participating on supply chain committees.

JSI has also been engaged in a USAID Food for Peace initiative called the Liberian Agricultural Upgrading, Nutrition and Child Health (LAUNCH) project, working to improve food security of vulnerable people living in rural Bong and Nimba counties. Under this project, supplemental food rations are distributed monthly to pregnant and lactating women, as well as children under age two.

Recognizing the importance of contributing more broadly to the development of human resources in a post-war environment, JSI also implements the privately funded President’s Young Professionals Program (PYPP), which helps fill critical human resource needs across a range of ministries. Launched by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2009, PYPP is places Liberian college graduates in government roles.

JSI Response to the Ebola Epidemic

JSI has been at the frontlines of the Ebola response every day since June 2014, when RBHS activities shifted entirely to supporting the Liberian government’s response efforts. JSI understands that strengthening a country’s entire health system and engaging and mobilizing affected communities are key strategies for effectively managing large scale, infectious disease epidemics such as Ebola. JSI led IPC activities for health workers as well as provided support to national committees on case management, social mobilization,, logistics, and contact tracing. Having worked on the ground in Liberia for the past decade, JSI was able to collaborate closely with the MOHSW to transition from emergency response to restoration of routine health services.

JSI Ebola response activities included:

1. Assisted the MOHSW to develop a comprehensive IPC training package Keep Safe, Keep Serving for non-ETU health workers and facility support staff (cleaners, kitchen staff, etc ) that includes training materials, job aids, and monitoring tools.

2. Coordinated and conduct IPC trainings for non-ETU health workers and facility support staff, and maintain the IPC training database; Trained nearly 7,000 health workers, facility support staff, community members, and NGO representatives in IPC between July and December 2014. Our training has allowed hospitals and clinics to reopen.

3. Supported the MOHSW in the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) containing detailed guidance on essential IPC measures for various levels of care (households, community, health centers, community care centers, hospitals).

4. Set up a logistical system for the massive inflow of supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPEs), body bags, IV fluids, etc. including intake and distribution around the country.

5. Strengthened the contact tracing system throughout the country to ensure that accurate data is available on suspected cases, which is helping prevent new cases by ensuring that those exposed do not infect more people.

6. Trained religious leaders—both Christian and Muslim—and traditional healers in accurate information about Ebola, how they can protect themselves, and the steps to take when someone presents symptoms. The training prepares leaders to disseminate accurate information about Ebola to keep their communities safe.

7. Oversaw supportive supervision visits to facilities to ensure adherence to IPC protocols and adequate availability of IPC supplies. Supervision is conducted jointly by supervisors from County Health and Social Welfare Teams (CHSWTs) and District Health and Social Welfare Teams (DHSWTs,) who participated in the trainings, and by JSI staff.

Read more about our contributions to the Ebola response in Liberia.

View a photo essay,"Last Mile Distribution: Challenges on the Road to Delivering Infection Prevention and Control Supplies in Liberia," which chronicles the transportation obstacles faced in maintaining the supply chain within the Infection Prevention and Control Activity.

Below, watch "Keep Safe, Keep Serving--Strengthening Infection Prevention in Liberia," a short documentary film about the work of JSI staff to ensure infection prevention and control practices are standardized across the country.


Highlights

PROJECT
View details: Liberia Ebola Infection Prevention and Control Activity

Liberia Ebola Infection Prevention and Control Activity

JSI is partnering with the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to train health workers in infection prevention and manage the distribution of personal protective equipment.

FEATURE
View details: Protecting Liberia's Borders

Protecting Liberia's Borders

JSI is training health workers to prevent cross-border transmission of infectious diseases.

PROJECT
View details: Advancing Partners & Communities (APC)

Advancing Partners & Communities (APC)

JSI is supporting and advancing community programs in more than 30 countries that seek to improve local health services, especially those related to family planning.

FEATURE
View details: In Liberia, mobile phones are used to improve data flow for better nutrition interventions

In Liberia, mobile phones are used to improve data flow for better nutrition interventions

The LAUNCH program in Liberia is training field workers to use mobile technology to collect and store important data about the health and nutrition of people in their communities.

PROJECT
View details: Liberian Agricultural Upgrading, Nutrition and Child Health (LAUNCH) Project

Liberian Agricultural Upgrading, Nutrition and Child Health (LAUNCH) Project

LAUNCH is a USAID Food for Peace (FFP) program that aims to improve food security of vulnerable people living in the rural Bong and Nimba counties of Liberia.

FEATURE
View details: Taking the temperature of an anti-malaria campaign in Liberia

Taking the temperature of an anti-malaria campaign in Liberia

The Rebuilding Basic Health Systems project engages community volunteers and utilizes available technology to collect data and spread messages about the initiative's anti-malaria campaign

PROJECT
View details: Liberia Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS)

Liberia Rebuilding Basic Health Services (RBHS)

JSI collaborates with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to support service delivery with a focus on family planning, reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health, gender-based violence, malaria, HIV prevention, and water and sanitation.

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