Author: J. Dawson, July 21 2015 - The Western Area Surge in Sierra Leone in December 2014 demonstrated that community mobilization and the supply of services are interdependent – one cannot be successful without the other. More than half of registered cases of Ebola were registered in the western part of the country, and the “Western Area Surge” was organized in the response. 

Supply and communications actions were planned and delivered in close coordination and the results were correspondingly effective. “More than 1,500 community mobilizers from various agencies were deployed under ‘one plan’ with integrated teams consisting variously of surveillance officers, contact tracers, quarantine and psychosocial counselors. Different agencies took the lead as focal points for different sections and wards, reaching more than 11,000 households.”

The Surge resulted in a 48% increase in admissions and 27% increase in confirmed cases from that location. Positivity of corpses also dropped from more than 30% before to below 10% after the Surge, which is an indicator of early health seeking and reporting.

Click here to read a UNICEF report on the Western Area Surge in Sierra Leone.