Read more about our recent response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa
Liberia was founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves and is considered Africa’s oldest republic. However, Liberia appeared on the world stage in the 1990s from a decade’s long civil war that killed 250,000 people. The dictator, Charles Taylor stepped down and was exiled to Nigeria. Free elections took place in 2005; however, the country continued to struggle with corruption, unemployment, and illiteracy. Starting in 2014, Liberia was at the center of the largest Ebola outbreak in history—a crisis that persisted into 2015 and left a devastated health system and lingering stigma. The outbreak resulted in some 11,000 cases in Liberia alone and, of those, approximately 4,800 deaths.
International Medical Corps was on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, just 72 hours after the Government of Liberia declared a state of emergency. We established two Ebola Treatment Units, which together screened and treated more than 800 people of whom 165 were confirmed to have Ebola. Eighty-two people survived, thanks to aggressive and supportive treatment. In addition to direct medical services, we also fought Ebola along all points of the transmission chain, from the rapid isolation of new cases to psychosocial support, infection prevention and control, waste management, clean water supply, and safe, dignified burials. Throughout our response, we trained hundreds of health care workers and other professionals to safely identify, prevent, and treat Ebola to bolster collective national and international efforts to get to zero new cases. Today, our teams are focusing on helping the health system recover and rebuild and be prepared if Ebola strikes again.