Global Communities Launches the PACS Program as Liberia Transitions into the Next Phase of Ebola Response

By Katie Deierlein, Global Communities

U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Deborah R. Malac
U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Deborah R. Malac speaks about the progress made in health systems to date and the work that still must be finished.

Global Communities joined the governments of the U.S. and Liberia to celebrate the launch of two USAID-funded health programs. The U.S. Ambassador Deborah R. Malac and the Liberian Minister of Health-Designee Dr. Bernice Dahn both spoke at the event, demonstrating the significant need for improved health systems. The recent Ebola outbreak highlighted both the country’s low capacity to manage healthcare and its citizens’ limited access to health services. As Ambassador Malac stated, “We all [still] have a lot of work to do to help the health status of Liberians.”

The two new programs are the Partnership for Advancing Community-based Services (PACS), of which one component is being implemented by Global Communities, and the Collaborative Support for Health (CSH) program, implemented by MSH. The two programs will complement each other to promote basic service delivery at a community level and to strengthen the national and county health systems.

Liberia recently celebrated WHO’s declaration that it is free of Ebola on May 9, 2015, but the country’s health issues are as challenging as ever. Despite making great strides in healthcare over the past decade, much of the progress was lost or stalled while the country focused on stemming and ending the Ebola outbreak.

Now, the country, donors and implementing partners will move into the next phase of programming, where the country will maintain zero active cases of Ebola while building the health system.

PACS Technical Staff
PACS Technical Staff, including Alex Keimbe, Global Communities’ Senior Technical WASH Advisor on the program.

In this effort, Global Communities will be promoting water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties over the next five years. A large focus will be its Community-Led Total Sanitation Plus (CLTS+) approach, which results in healthy communities through sanitation training and access to latrines. The project will also improve Liberians’ access to other sanitation needs by installing hand pumps and promoting entrepreneurship in soap-making and maintaining hand pumps. 

Alex Keimbe, Global Communities’ Senior Technical WASH Advisor on PACS, is excited to work on PACS because of Global Communities’ long-standing presence in the communities, its already well-established relationships with stakeholders and great staff with whom to work. The program will hit the ground running as a result of the long-lasting partnerships that Global Communities has held with Liberians for the past 11 years.