The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented. The accelerating number of cases, the poor health infrastructure in affected countries, the short supply of skills, knowledge and personnel, and the fear surrounding this disease are a huge challenge to affected governments and the international community as they battle to bring the epidemic under control.
This briefing makes the case that public health campaigns involving community engagement and social mobilization are key aspects of reducing transmission rates, and require appropriate prioritization in the international response. Community leaders are best positioned to identify ways to stop the virus spreading in their communities and are key to improving case finding and outbreak control.
Oxfam calls on donors and implementing partners to ensure that the community mobilization element of the UN plan – currently costed at $45.8m – is fully funded and swiftly implemented.