As efforts continue to contain the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, CARE is escalating its response to help prevent the spread of the virus across borders into Cote d’Ivoire and Mali.
With new cases being reported in Mali, CARE is working with the government and other agencies to halt the spread of Ebola through education, awareness and hygiene promotion in vulnerable communities throughout the country. The goal is to increase awareness and knowledge of Ebola symptoms, how to report and seek treatment and to promote behavior that will prevent infection.
“This is a critical moment for Mali in containing the spread of Ebola, and it is important that people understand the threat of this virus and immediately halt any behaviors that could further the spread,” said Yawo Douvon, CARE Country Director in Mali. “CARE is targeting rural communities to ensure the people are changing any harmful behavior that could increase risk of infection and getting accurate messages from a source they trust, so that any myths circulating about the virus are eliminated.”
Ebola has not spread into the Cote d’Ivoire, but being that the country shares borders with Guinea and Liberia, prevention and preparation is being prioritized. CARE helped the Ivorian government with an Ebola response plan, and started incorporating Ebola awareness into their development trainings conducted in cocoa farming communities in western region of the country. With Cote d’Ivoire being the world’s leading producer of cocoa, people’s livelihoods and the world’s cocoa supply would be significantly impacted by an Ebola outbreak.
“The people of Cote d’Ivoire know how devastating Ebola would be on their lives and their livelihoods. Proactively communicating about Ebola at the community level, where the virus is most likely to appear, is crucial to ensuring that Cote d’Ivoire is not the next West African nation with a severe Ebola outbreak,” said Balla Sidibe, CARE Country Director in Cote d’Ivoire.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org
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