• Stopping Ebola

IMA World Health has responded to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreaks in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – the most recent being the 2018 – 2020 outbreak in the eastern DRC. With 2,287 deaths over 22 months, this was the DRC’s longest and deadliest Ebola outbreak as well as the second largest outbreak in the world to date.

In this latest epidemic, which took place in an active conflict zone, IMA worked tirelessly on the front lines, coordinating with local communities and organizations to support the DRC’s Ministry of Health in stopping the spread of the deadly disease in ten of the most-affected health zones in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

With funding support from USAID, IMA led a consortium of partners to

  • Establish 78 Ebola triage and isolation units;
  • Install 164 water supply and hygiene systems at health clinics;
  • Prepare and equip 85 hospitals and health clinics for identification and isolation of suspected Ebola patients, who in turn, provided consultations and services to 448,576 patients as well as identified and monitored 7,810 contact persons (at risk or exposed) for Ebola;
  • Train 1,342 community health workers in community-based surveillance and contract tracing, who in turn, visited 319,106 households;
  • Train 1,006 religious leaders and teachers in Ebola messaging, and as trusted members of the community, who were able reach 444,634 community members with key messages and reduce stigma.

Our work


Working at the epicenter of the outbreak, IMA partnered with Tearfund, Heal Africa, and the Program for Promotion of Primary Health Care, known as PPSSP, to reach over 764,000 people in and around the Ebola zone. IMA and partners raised the awareness and understanding of Ebola and its symptoms as well as of the means of prevention with hundreds of health care workers. IMA also trained local community outreach workers to build trust in communities as they sought to spread factual information about Ebola and monitor households and communal settings for suspect cases. In addition, IMA supported the World Health Organization in tracing contacts of people who have contracted Ebola. IMA provided and rehabilitated water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management systems in high risk settings and supported key health facilities in the outbreak area with regular supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) and assured implementation of WHO -standard infection prevention and control measures in 85 supported clinics and hospitals.


In May 2018, the DRC Ministry of Health requested that staff from our Access to Primary Health Care Project, which was funded by UK Department for International Development, support Ebola data-visualization work as part of the response to an Ebola outbreak in western DRC. IMA supported the setup of the electronic database—as part of the national Health Information System established in 2014 through ASSP—to capture patient and contact data and to use the dashboard data to inform policy decisions and action plans for the response.


During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, projection models identified the DRC to be at risk for the importation of cases from the outbreak zone. Already working to strengthen health systems in the DRC, IMA World Health took swift preemptive measures by providing 200 Personal Protective Equipment kits to protect health workers and contain a potential new outbreak before it started. IMA also worked with the DRC Ministry of Health Department of Epidemic Surveillance to train hospital staff in Ebola preparedness and response. Funding was provided by individual donors and IMA member agencies including the American Baptist Churches, the United Church of Christ, and Week of Compassion.


IMA World Health supported the Christian Health Association of Liberia to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus following the March 2014 outbreak. CHAL worked in close collaboration with the Liberia Ministry of Health to train health care professionals, community health volunteers, and religious and traditional leaders on the key facts about Ebola. CHAL procured PPE for health workers and provided training on its proper use. IMA’s material and technical assistance support was made possible thanks to individual donations as well as grants from IMA member agencies including Lutheran World Relief, American Baptist Churches USA, Week of Compassion, and Church of the Brethren. Additional donors include Disaster Aid USA, Inc. and the Rotary Clubs of Baltimore, Bonds Meadow, Chevy Chase-Bethesda, Mt. Airy, Owings Mills, Pikesville, and Sykesville in Maryland, and the Rotary Club of Harrisonburg, Virginia.