A Community Approach to Better Public Health in Rural Liberia

A Community Approach to Better Public Health in Rural Liberia. Global Waters, June 2016

Liberia is no stranger to difficult times, having weathered a devastating Ebola outbreak and now struggling through a slow economic recovery. Lost amid the headlines from these events is the story of Liberia’s quiet public health victories.

liberia

Residents of Lofa County’s Vahun district in Liberia gather to discuss strategy for sustaining recent local sanitation improvements. Photo Credit: Global Communities

Half of Liberia’s 4.5 million people live in the countryside and roughly the same amount practice open defecation.

This practice has jeopardized public health by facilitating the spread of diseases that cause diarrhea, Liberia’s sixth leading cause of death and the primary cause of childhood morbidity and mortality.

However, thanks to two programs that championed community-led sanitation improvements, USAID has now helped 1,500 Liberian communities achieve open defecation-free (ODF) status — fueling optimism about continued public health improvements in the near term

Read the complete article.

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