04 Nov 2016
Hot Spot Busters, a Community Focused Intervention in Sierra Leone
The “Hotspot Busters Initiative” was aimed at reducing and eliminating the spread of EVD in hotspot areas as soon as cases appeared. It became a key element of UNICEF’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), in partnership with the Health for all Coalition (HFAC), a local community-based organization with a network of social mobilizers in the field, implemented this intervention at the ward level across the country.
How does Hotspot Busting work?
A hotspot was defined by HFAC as ‘any two suspected cases from a community’.
The activities of this initiative aimed to:
• Sensitize Paramount Chiefs and traditional leaders on the need for intensification of the EVD response in the hotspot communities, including dissemination of chiefdom by-laws on EVD;
• Undertake intense door to door community sensitization;
• Provide key messages via SBCC materials;
• Facilitate community referrals; and,
• Report on suspected cases.
These brief case studies reflect the contribution of numerous partners in the social mobilization pillar co-chaired by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health
Brandon Desiderio is the web specialist for Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3). He's a communication for development professional with background in social media marketing, digital journalism and web development. Before joining the HC3 team and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, he worked for Catholic Relief Services. His interests include community ownership, utilizing media as a force for positive social change, innovative communication technologies, and program design for gender and sexual minorities. Brandon holds a BA in Communication from Cabrini College.