BRAC USA

Our mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable men and women to realize their potential.
Oct 30, 2014

Ebola outbreak compromises progress

Ruth Grey, Liberia, April 2014 Alison Wright
Ruth Grey, Liberia, April 2014 Alison Wright

This photo of Ruth Grey was taken in April at a feed mill in Buchanon where workers sort out rocks from the maize before it's ground into chicken feed. Although Ebola has been catastrophic in Liberia, as of this report the mill was found in good condition. Read more below about how BRAC's projects are adapting.

The Ebola outbreak in Liberia has been catastrophic, putting a severe strain on an already over-burdened and under-resourced national health care system. BRAC staff were some of the first responders, distributing disinfectant, and chlorine as well as providing educational materials such as flyers, posters, and broadcasting radio jingles about preventative practices. Global Giving donors were instrumental in supporting these efforts. To find out more about how we are combating Ebola, see the links below.

Due to travel bans and restrictions on public gatherings, BRAC was forced to temporarily halt its programming, including hatchery operations, in August. Our offices reopened in September and programs are being modified and adjusting to new government restrictions. Luckily, BRAC offices, residences, poultry and seed farms have been found in good condition, although marketplaces are not yet operating as usual.

Travel bans, disruptions in trade and closed markets have led to severe food shortages across West Africa, but particularly in Liberia where rice production decreased by 10 percent this year. BRAC is working with local partners to distribute supplies and mobilize its existing resources to reach communities in need. Knowing that ending the current crisis will take significant resources and a coordinated response, BRAC has partnered with other organizations in the Ebola Survival Fund. See the links below for more information. 

BRAC asks that you send your thoughts out to the families of farmers, microfinance officers, community health promoters, mentors, staff, and volunteers who have lost their lives to this deadly disease. 

Links:

Oct 30, 2014

Fighting Ebola, saving lives

Community health promoters Alison Wright 4/14
Community health promoters Alison Wright 4/14

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has further strained under-resourced and over-burdened healthcare systems in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In response, BRAC has mobilized its network on the ground to educate the public, distribute sanitation materials and food supplies, and work with partners to strategically combat the spread of this deadly disease.

Thanks to support from GlobalGiving donors and match-funding partners, BRAC provided first-response in June when local offices requested emergency funding for educational posters, flyers, radio jingles, as well as materials including chlorine, disinfectant, and sterile gloves to distribute from local branch offices. BRAC’s community health promoters – funded by this project and present in both Liberia and Sierra Leone – have played a key role in their communities by raising awareness and distributing materials where possible. However, because of travel bans and restrictions on public gatherings, BRAC’s regular programs, including this maternal health project, were put on hold in August. Offices reopened in September and programs are being modified, adapting to new restrictions.

BRAC’s first priority is fighting the spread of Ebola, channeling its efforts to train and support local leaders including its 2,400 community health promoters, 900 paid staff and thousands of microfinance village heads. BRAC Country representatives are working closely with the UN and local government to coordinate efforts where they’re needed most – specifically targeting women and girls who are especially vulnerable. BRAC is also cognizant of the long-term economic impact of the disease in West Africa – the World Bank estimates a $32.6 billion net loss in the next two years – and is raising funds through this project and others to support the country in rebuilding its health, education, and microfinance sectors.

Knowing that ending the current crisis will take significant resources and a coordinated response, BRAC has partnered with other organizations in the Ebola Survival Fund. See the links below for more information.

BRAC asks that you send your thoughts out to the families of community health promoters, mentors, staff, and volunteers who have lost their lives combatting this deadly disease.

Links:

Aug 27, 2014

Update: BRAC Combats TB in South Sudan

Thanks to support from BRAC partners and GlobalGiving donors, BRAC's health initiatives in South Sudan have been active in the past year, educating communities about tuberculosis, malaria, as well as other common diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, and the common cold.


BRAC plays a vital role in communities across South Sudan, which lack health infrastructure and are often unstable due to violence or disease outbreak. BRAC has trained local women as Community Health Promoters to implement a community-based approach that will increase TB case detection and treatment. Community Health Promoters are trained to visit households in the community and ask simple questions to help them detect TB symptoms. If she detects symptoms, the health promoter will encourage the sick person to be tested at a nearby government facility. Through this approach, BRAC hopes to create accessible and approachable healthcare that works in tandem with the government's efforts and facilities. In addition BRAC trains its promoters to educate families about how it is spread and what they can do to protect family and community members. The promoter then follows up with these individuals and advises on treatment if necessary.


BRAC’s health initiatives in South Sudan still need the support of GlobalGiving donors in order to train more promoters and help to create a cost-effective bridge between underserved poor communities and formal healthcare systems.

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