Emergency response is what happens when preparedness has failed. Outbreaks will happen but epidemics are preventable. MSH has been helping build locally led and locally run health systems in the world’s poorest regions for over 40 years.
—Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH CEO and President
MSH currently manages projects in 29 African nations and has 28 offices there. We have nearly 1,500 staff in sub-Saharan Africa and have trained 26,000 health workers in the region.The challenge of Ebola goes to the very essence of MSH’s core mission: ensuring the right to every person to health care, building and sustaining systems for care and prevention, and developing solutions rooted in the community.
Strong health systems in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, as well as other at-risk countries, will help save lives and ensure that we are prepared for the next public health challenge.
MSH Framework for Ebola Response and Recovery at the Local Level
MSH’s action to stop Ebola is guided by a framework for response and recovery at the local level. The framework modules and worksheets promote strengthening local multisector response coordination; maintaining essential services (health and non-health) during and after an outbreak; limiting the spread; and supporting care and treatment protocols.
In Guinea, the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program is helping the Minister of Health to work with the Ebola Logistics Commission to plan distribution of Ebola commodities needed for the health facilities and population. The Leadership, Management and Governance project in Guinea is providing technical assistance to the National Malaria Control Program to develop and implement an emergency action plan for malaria control in the context of the Ebola outbreak.
MSH in Liberia
In October, MSH mobilized a five-person team to Liberia to help the Ministry of Health with its Ebola response.
Preparedness and Prevention
MSH is pursuing preparedness and prevention strategies in four countries:
- Cote d’Ivoire – MSH medical personnel are members of the National Ebola Committee and will assist the Ministry of Health in providing supply chain technical assistance to central medical stores and health facilities. MSH will assess whether the national supply chain for HIV & AIDS medicines can be used for the distribution of pandemic preparedness supplies.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – MSH will work with the Ministry of Health to determine whether its existing community health network can manage the Ebola outbreak in 23 affected villages.
- Gabon – MSH is in active discussions with the nation’s leadership on the best method to implement of Ebola pandemic preparedness measures.
- Nigeria – MSH is seeking donor support to roll-out of a revised version of its Pandemic Preparedness Tool.
West Africa: Essential Non-Ebola Services
Restoring essential services to non-Ebola patients must be a core component of the emergency response in West Africa.
Community-Based Preparedness, Surveillance, and Response
More than 260 people from over 60 countries participated in an interactive online LeaderNet seminar on the West African Ebola outbreak, hosted by MSH, October 28-30, 2014.
Medicine Stores in Liberia: Helping Fight Ebola
With thousands of people dying in West Africa from the Ebola virus and many more at risk, Liberia’s Accredited Medicine Stores (AMS) and other drug shops continue to help ensure access to pharmaceutical products and services at the community level even as other health facilities have closed down. They also offer the potential to contribute to the control of the lethal disease that has West Africa and the international community on high alert.