Our Role in the Future of Healthcare in Liberia

Wondering why you should support our Global Giving Ebola campaign? In order to make an informed, educated decision, we felt a more detailed post about why our recent work with neighborhood clinics is unique and essential to the Ebola crisis was neccessary-beginning with this short video.

Although the Ebola epidemic is still growing in Sierra Leone, and Guinea's numbers are swinging up and down, Liberia is now reporting only 20 new patients a day. Treatment units have hundreds of empty beds, and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lifted the state of emergency put in place in August. Now the country faces new challenges: rebuilding a shattered health care system, tamping down local outbreaks, and looking for ways to drive the number of new cases to zero.

This has made our fundraising campaign in support of neighborhood clinics of upmost importance. Although healthcare has not been a direct focus of our programs at everyday gandhis, due to the ongoing crisis we have shifted our efforts towards building better community health and resilience to contribute most effectively during these difficult times.

In building a context, Liberia ranks near the bottom of global social indicators for public health. It has been estimated that there was 1 doctor for every 100,000 Liberians before the epidemic, many of which have now died at the hands of Ebola. Furthermore, Liberia ranks amongst the highest for rates of child and maternal mortality in the world. UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children (2010) stated that the child mortality rate (under 5 years) was 100 deaths per 1,000 live births. The World Health Organization (estimates that in 2007, the maternal mortality rate was 770 deaths per 100,000 live births. Yet, the amounts of health services available to reduce these numbers remains comparatively low. A 2007 survey referenced by the UNDP and Global Fund (2010) found that only 10% of communities had a health facility in their neighborhood.

These statistics are reflected in the rates of skilled health professionals who are in attendance at births; in urban areas 79% of all births are assisted, but in rural areas that figure drops to a staggeringly low 32%. Today, according to a recent study, one in seven women risk dying in childbirth in Ebola hit countries with an estimated 800,000 women expected to give birth in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia over the next 12 months. Not to mention the countless who have already died unable to find healthcare for treatable diseases such as malaria, typhoid and diarrhea.

In light of these staggering statistics, we found that rural and neighborhood clinics have struggled to stay open due to a lack of medical supplies and sanitation materials. By supporting more than a dozen clinics and private nurses throughout this crisis, we serve an important role in assisting in a reduction of these numbers. In doing so, clinics are able to stay open and its workers protected, alleviating stress on overflowing hospitals, reducing virus exposure and allowing Liberians to be treated locally for non-Ebola illnesses.

Nurses at a clinic near Voinjama, Liberia rejoice at the arrival of everyday gandhis donations

To date we have supplied 14 clinics surrounding Voinjama and Monrovia and a handful of private nurses treating from their homes. For field reports from our Liberian family, see past blog posts.

To continue this important work, we are looking to those most fortunate to donate this holiday season, playing a vital part in keeping these clinics supplied and open. All administrative expenses are privately funded and all contributions go 100% directly to our efforts. Visit our donation page at:

http://bit.ly/egcampaign

In order to continue our clinic donations and to maintain a permanent spot on the site, we need to raise $5,000 from at least 40 donors by December 31st, 2014. The campaign features several targeted ways to give, ranging in gifts as low as $10 to supporting an entire clinic for $500.

Furthermore, if we complete the challenge, we will be given access to

Global Giving’s Ebola Fund, which has raised over $2.5 million dollars for partners working on the ground in West Africa. Help us become one of these partners and give us the opportunity to expand our efforts.

As of December 3, 2014, we rank 3rd on the leader board out of 300 organizations partaking in the challenge with a total of $1,625 from 16 donors raised so far (http://bit.ly/GGLeaderBoard). Help us keep the momentum going by donating as little as $10 now and drive the donor number up!

To get the most out of your donation, Global Giving features two

Bonus Days during the month. On December 10th AND

December 17th all donations will be matched at 15%. So mark your

calendars, and don't forget.


If you have further questions concerning our organization and its work, do not hesitate to contact us at anytime. We would love to hear from you in expanding our community and donor base.

Warm regards this holiday season,

-Jenna Hammerslag, Media Coordinator, everyday gandhis

jenna@everydaygandhis.org 805.669.8137

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Fort Bragg, CA 95437

 

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