The Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, and Presidents of the most affected countries are launching a $100 million response plan to stop the disease transmission and prevent its spread.
“The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat that it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination. The countries have identified what they need, and WHO is reaching out to the international community to drive the response plan forward,” said Dr. Chan.
World Renew is responding in partnership with the Christian Health Association of Liberia (CHAL) and the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL).
In Liberia, CHAL is training community health workers in the prevention of Ebola, in 18 health facilities of three counties, and hand washing sites have been set up. This has motivated more people to visit the health centres. Medications from the WHO List of Essential Medicines are being provided to people in the counties; including antibacterial, antiviral and fever reduction drugs. There are about 255 Ebola cases in the country.
Staff from the Governance Commission have been trained on how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Protective equipment is also being provided to hospitals, health centres and clinics. This includes sprayers, masks, face shields, protective suits, gloves and protective boots.
According to the Government of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health, there are numerous challenges contributing to the ongoing outbreak, including inadequate understanding by most people of the ebola virus, lack of experience among health care workers, and limited capacities for rapid response. There are about 576 Ebola cases in the country.
It is the lack of understanding of the virus that World Renew’s local partner in Sierra Leone, CCSL, will be addressing. They are working to raise awareness in the Ebola “hot spots” of the country. CCSL is educating communities with the key messages of how ebola is spread, how to recognize the symptoms, what to do if you have the symptoms, how to prevent the transmission of ebola, and the role of the whole community in dealing with ebola. These key messages are also being adapted into the local languages of the affected areas. CCSL is also working closely with the leadership of Christian and Muslim communities and setting up Ebola Task Forces in each community to spread key messages and monitor suspected cases.
The Task Forces will also do management and prevention training with Primary Health Units, and will coordinate with the Ministry of Health to manage and prevent the spread of Ebola. Water containers with chlorine bleach will be provided together with education on how to prepare the mixture, and how to disinfect homes and personal belongings.
“The situation in West Africa is grave, as this has become a cross-border epidemic,” World Renew’s Director of Disaster Response and Rehabilitation, Wayne de Jong, explains. “We are thankful to have active partners in two of the affected countries, and that World Renew has the opportunity to come alongside them in their lifesaving work. We know that the chances of survival increase dramatically if adequate treatment is received early on after a person contracts the virus.”
Please pray for those who have contracted the Ebola virus and for those at risk of doing so, that they may receive the immediate medical care and attention they need in all of the affected countries. Please pray for a swift and effective response by the international community to contain this terrible disease, and pray for World Renew and its staff and partners who are dealing first hand with this virus and the people it has affected.
To support World Renew’s response to this grave health emergency and help treat those infected, as well as prevent the Ebola virus from spreading further in West Africa, please donate online.
Checks marked “West Africa Ebola Crisis 2014” can also be sent to:
World Renew US
1700 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
World Renew Canada
P.O. Box 5070 STN LCD
Burlington, Ontario, L7R 3Y8
Your gift will make it possible for World Renew to educate communities in regards to how Ebola is spread, how to prevent it, how to recognize the symptoms, and what to do if one has the symptoms. Protective equipment will be provided to medical centres and essential medicines will be provided to families.