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25 August 2014

medica mondiale Liberia: Keeping calm despite Ebola crisis

We are concerned about our colleagues at medica mondiale Liberia. They tell us that the situation is tense in the capital Monrovia, where curfews are in force in some neighbourhoods. In spite of this, staff are continuing their work, even if a range of security and hygiene measures do necessitate some restrictions. “We will not let it get us down,” declared Caroline Bowah Brown, the director of our partner organisation, during a telephone call.

Our counsellors are carrying out awareness work to inform women in the medica mondiale solidarity groups about Ebola and preventive measures. These solidarity groups then pass on the information to village elders and religious leaders about how a further proliferation of the epidemic can be stopped. The health counsellors in Monrovia maintain very close contact to their colleagues in the Sinoe, Grand Gedeh and River Gee regions in the South-East.

Joint measures with a range of health posts in south-eastern Liberia are also being planned to intensify public awareness work in the villages. This will include radio spots on Ebola prevention in local dialects. Additionally, the staff at medica mondiale Liberia want to work together with healthcare professionals to distribute gloves, protective goggles, masks and disinfectant as well as information material. For this they need additional financial assistance and our continued solidarity.

Background information on Ebola in Liberia

As of August 20 2014, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there were 2,300 cases of illness registered in the Ebola-affected areas of Western Africa. Approximately 1,350 people have died. Infection with the Ebola virus was verified in 805 fatalities and of those, 216 came from Liberia. The epidemic has been declared as a medical emergency and the borders of the affected countries have been closed. The countries worst affected are Sierra Leone and our partner country Liberia, where President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared a national emergency.