As the Ebolavirus continues to ravage Sierra Leone and Liberia, local organisations, including ACIPP, have joined forces as DERSWA (Disease and Emergency Relief Services–West Africa). DERSWA is a consortium of grassroots organisations operating at the frontlines of this public health crisis. While much attention has been given to the biomedical response, much is needed in the area of social, psychological, and educational response, which often lasts long after the biomedical response has ceased. Present goals include providing care packages to quarantined households and health workers in Sierra Leone, provide psychosocial services to over 5000 families, and establishing door-to-door anti-stigmatisation programmes in Liberia.
Here are a few snapshots of what has currently be done amongst DERSWA partners and goals:
- CARL (Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law), a DERSWA partner in Sierra Leone, has received its first donation of 120 radios from Ears to Our World. These radios will be given to children in support of their lessons, due to school closures as a result of the epidemic. This project is also facilitated by Africa Educates, our US partner.
- CARL has received a small grant from the US Embassy in support to distribute items (including food) to quarantined households. This is vital as many persons under quarantine have insufficient access to food and resources.
- Shalom Liberia, in Montserrado, Liberia, is in the midst of a programme to educate the public on Ebola prevention. So far they have already conducted two workshop.
- AGENDA and NAYMOTE, both Liberian organisations, are running an Ebola helpline and situation room.
DERSWA’s partners include ACIPP, AGENDA, CARL, NAYMOTE Liberia, Shalom, and Africa Educates.
Visit the DERSWA website here !