| Jun 2, 2015
Support survivors and decrease stigmatization
Community meeting in Liberia
“It was hard to believe Ebola killed all of my children and husband,” Janet Wee told a group of survivors gathered for a counseling session in Dolo Town, Margibi County in Liberia. “When I was discharged from the ETU, I was totally stigmatized and discriminated against by friends and other community members simply because I am an Ebola survivor.”
Liberia was recently announced Ebola free, but some of its aftershocks – economic instability, stigmatization towards survivors, and lingering health issues like vision problems – are still present in its wake.
BRAC’s community health workers – local female volunteers trained in basic health services – are working with BRAC staff in Liberia and Siera Leone to host educational sessions that address stigmatization of survivors, like Wee, and acts of discrimination by neighbors. Through community gatherings, radio broadcasts, and individual and group counseling sessions, survivors are encouraged to share their stories and experiences with other survivors and community members to foster dialogue while providing psycho-social support.
BRAC has put specific emphasis on supporting orphans, mothers, and adolescent girls who have been left particularly vulnerable after the outbreak. With a noticable increase in teenage pregnancies in both countries, pre and post-natal care is especially important for these young mothers. BRAC has more than 400 community health workers active in Liberia and more than 500 in Sierra Leone who regularly visit pregnant women and new mothers in the community to check their vitals and educate them about nutrition for women and their babies.
With your support and help from new donors, BRAC's psycho-social program will continue in tandem with our maternal health initiatives. Our CHP’s are reaching hundreds of mothers each month providing pre and post-natal care and referring women who have complications to local clinics and hospitals. Thank you for supporting this important work.