Working with communities to support them through the crisis and help bring Ebola to an end.

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During the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Red Cross teams went door-to-door and worked with community elders and religious leaders to ensure families knew about how the virus is spread, what the symptoms are, and the importance of early treatment. Besides the door-to-door visits to deliver key messages and enter into a dialogue, the Red Cross is using a range of communication channels, from television soap opera and interactive radio programmes to SMS messaging to promote behaviour change.

Myths were debunked, the truth was told. The disease is not airborne, or spread in water, or passed on by witchcraft or evil doers. It comes from direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.From the community in turn, structured feedback provided a wealth of information and data.

Community engagement was not new but the needs thrown up by Ebola had established it as an essential tool found across the board of operations.

Communities in action

By Mirabelle Enaka Kima, IFRC Democratic Republic of the Congo’s traditional leaders, the main influencers and keepers of ancestral customs, are the key to community safety and surveillance against the ongoing outbreak of Ebola. In this context, height …

16 July 2018

By Mirabelle Enaka Kima, IFRC On a sunny morning in Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Loondo village in June 2018, a team of eight Red Cross volunteers arrived to perform a safe and dignified burial (SDB), following an alert received the previous day. …

4 July 2018

A Red Cross emergency medical team is now working as part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).   The team – made up of doctors, …

13 June 2018

Emergency Appeal The Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and IFRC are racing to stop the spread of a new Ebola outbreak that is threatening communities in Bikoro, Iboko and Wangata in Equateur Province. We urgently need your suppo …

30 May 2018

See more stories on Ebola and community engagement.