2022

"How Liberia’s frontline health workers are protecting us all"


The BBC interviewed Dr. Paula Tavrow about the success of Liberia’s paid, professional community health worker program.

Doctor taking blood pressure of patient

When Cynthia Luogon and her young son became feverish and started vomiting one night, she feared the worst. It was 2014, and an epidemic of Ebola – the highly contagious haemorrhagic fever that can cause uncontrollable internal bleeding – was spreading like wildfire across West Africa.

Without phone signal or access to a vehicle, several of Luogon’s neighbours in the remote Liberian village of Gipo – just nine miles (15km) from the border with neighbouring Guinea – were forced to carry the pair in a hammock for over an hour to the nearest health facility. "I thought I was going to die," she says.

Luogon, now 35 and with nine children, was initially suspected of having Ebola, but later diagnosed with cholera. She eventually recovered after being treated. "We were lucky," she says. "But plenty others passed away in those days."

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Faculty Referenced by this Article

Paula Tavrow
Paula Tavrow
Community Health Sciences
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Charlotte Neumann
Charlotte G. Neumann
Community Health Sciences
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Valentine M. Villa
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Alina Dorian
Alina Dorian
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Randall Kuhn
Randall Kuhn
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Michael Prelip
Michael Prelip
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Dana Rose Garfin
Dana Rose Garfin
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Michael Goldstein
Michael Goldstein
Community Health Sciences
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Dawn Upchurch
Community Health Sciences
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Sean Darling-Hammond
Sean Darling-Hammond
Biostatistics Community Health Sciences
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Philip Massey headshot
Philip Massey
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Anne Pebley
Anne Pebley
Community Health Sciences
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Bo-Kyung Elizabeth Kim headshot.png
Bo-Kyung Elizabeth Kim
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Gilbert Gee
Gilbert C. Gee
Community Health Sciences
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Natalie Muth
Community Health Sciences
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James Macinko
James Macinko

Professor of Community Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management, and Associate Dean for Research

Community Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Chandra Ford
Chandra Ford
Community Health Sciences
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May Wang headshot
May C. Wang
Community Health Sciences
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Marjorie Kagawa-Singer
Marjorie Kagawa-Singer
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Michael Rodriguez
Michael Rodriguez
Community Health Sciences
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Cathy Lang
Cathy Lang

Assistant Dean for Research & Adjunct Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences

Community Health Sciences
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Kimberley Shoaf
Community Health Sciences
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halbert, ronald
Ronald Halbert
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez
Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez
Community Health Sciences
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Ondine S. von Ehrenstein
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Dr. Samuel Stratton
Samuel Stratton
Community Health Sciences
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Dana Hunnes
Dana Hunnes
Community Health Sciences
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Diana Bonta
Diana Bonta
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Elizabeth Yzquierdo
Elizabeth Yzquierdo
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Judith M. Siegel
Judith M. Siegel
Community Health Sciences
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Dena Herman
Dena Herman
Community Health Sciences
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glik, deborah
Deborah Glik
Community Health Sciences
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Sarah Blenner
Sarah Blenner

Director of Field Studies and Applied Professional Training

Community Health Sciences
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Robert Kim-Farley
Robert J. Kim-Farley

Robert J. Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, is a Professor-in-Residence with joint appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Community Health Sciences

Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Kimberly Gregory
Kimberly Gregory
Community Health Sciences
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Ilan H. Meyer
Ilan H. Meyer
Community Health Sciences
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Jennifer A. Wagman
Jennifer A. Wagman
Community Health Sciences
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Courtney Thomas Tobin headshot.png
Courtney S. Thomas Tobin
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Elizabeth D'Amico
Elizabeth D’Amico
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Jessica Gipson
Jessica Gipson
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Shira Shafir
Shira Shafir
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Sheba George
Community Health Sciences
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Virginia C. Li
Virginia C. Li
Community Health Sciences
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Wendelin Slusser
Community Health Sciences
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David Eisenman
David Eisenman
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Donald Morisky
Donald E. Morisky
Community Health Sciences
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Dr. May Sudhinaraset
May Sudhinaraset
Community Health Sciences
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