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

Even before the outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), communities in this province of over five million inhabitants had already been weakened and rendered vulnerable by an armed conflict that has lasted for 20 years. If t …

23 October 2018

The Red Cross and Red Crescent are working hard to contain Democratic Republic of Congo’s 10th Ebola outbreak, with a special focus on breaking the deadly virus’ chain of transmission. Six teams of DRC Red Cross volunteers with experience in Safe and D …

23 August 2018

Fears are growing that Democratic Republic of the Congo is experiencing its 10th outbreak of Ebola only days after the country’s health ministry announced the end of an outbreak in Equateur province. The Ministry of Health has reported that four sample …

2 August 2018

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

See more stories on Ebola and community engagement.