The world has learned a lot about fighting Ebola since its deadliest epidemic in history broke out last year in West Africa. The importance of health workers having access to the right infection prevention and control supplies, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and bleach, is critical.
Yet getting these essential, lifesaving supplies to health workers, many of whom work in remote areas, is often easier said than done.
In Liberia, JSI is managing the Infection Prevention and Control Activity, which is helping the Liberian Ministry of Health (MOH) deliver infection prevention and control (IPC) supplies and trainings to health workers across the country—including in extremely hard to reach areas. Over a six-month period, our staff have delivered supplies to 521 health clinics across Liberia.
But what does it take for these supplies to arrive where they’re needed most?
The Journey Begins
Getting infection prevention supplies from a warehouse to a clinic is more complicated than just loading up a truck. Hauling supplies like personal protective equipment (PPE), bleach, buckets to create handwashing stations, sharp containers, gum boots, and infrared thermometers, some of our staff travel for more than six hours to reach clinics that are just 74 miles away.
When they aren’t fighting traffic, the delivery staff meet many other challenges that slow down their progress, including unstable bridges—where workers test out the bridges with human weight before attempting to drive their trucks across.
In certain areas, there aren’t bridges at all—
Branches and brush are also obstacles. But our local employees easily tackle these challenges—with chain saws if needed.
In extremely hard to reach areas, local delivery staff continue their journeys on foot, taking the important supplies they’re carrying with them.
Signed, sealed, delivered
Regardless of how the supplies arrive, JSI is dedicated to ensuring that the clinics like these, even in the most remote areas of the country, receive the tools and training they need.
The Last Mile
For health workers and patients across Liberia, these supplies are more than just items on a supply list—they can be a matter of life and death.
No matter the obstacles, in the fight against infection we believe that traveling the last mile is what counts.
Supply Distribution To Liberia’s Health Facilities
Because of our staff’s dedication, JSI has been able to deliver essential infection prevention and control supplies to health clinics in all of Liberia’s 15 counties. In this graphic, green dots represent the clinics that have received our supplies, while the blue dots depict those connected with other organizations, and the red dots represent clinics that have not yet received supplies.
JSI’s Infection Prevention and Control Activity was funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Read more about JSI’s work in Liberia, including our role in helping to end the Ebola epidemic.
Strengthening Health systems through the supply chain
Learn more about the Infection Prevention and Control Activity.