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Local Leaders, Organizations Critical To Ebola Response Efforts In Liberia

GlobalPost: Ebola is back in Liberia. Here’s how the country can beat it again
Dayugar Johnson, in-country consultant in Liberia for American Jewish World Service

“…Local Liberian groups did not have greater emergency response skills [during the Ebola epidemic] than the foreign staff and technical experts working with international organizations. What they did have was a most precious resource in an emergency: the public’s trust. Their long-standing connections to the communities where they lived and worked enabled them to serve as effective responders, educators, and advocates. These trusted local leaders complemented the efforts of global organizations, which provided technical support to the Liberian government and treated Ebola patients. As world leaders reflect on the Ebola outbreak and what the WHO or other elite organizations could have done differently, I implore them to give equal attention to the role of grassroots groups during this crisis — and to the game-changing role such groups must play in future health emergencies. Without the efforts of local organizations, I have no doubt that my country would still be battling the full force of the Ebola outbreak. Thanks to them, I’m confident that we will eradicate this horrific disease from our land once more” (12/12).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.