Episcopal Relief and Development is helping to stop the spread of Ebola in Africa:
In Liberia and Sierra Leone, Episcopal Relief & Development’s local Church partners are leveraging their widespread presence and trusted reputation to alleviate suffering and contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,427 people in West Africa since March 2014.
Partners in both countries are mobilizing local volunteers to promote accurate information about Ebola and distribute hygiene and sanitation supplies. In addition, the Church in Liberia is supplying food parcels for households in quarantined communities and providing basic protective equipment for health workers at local hospitals.
“The situation is extremely dire, due both to the severity of the disease and the difficulty in containing it,” said Abiy Seifu, Senior Program Officer for Episcopal Relief & Development. “People want to care for sick family members at home, they are afraid to go to the clinics because so many are dying and there is a great deal of misinformation about how Ebola is spread. Fear about the disease is making the outbreak worse, and we are aiming to combat this fear with accurate information and support for basic needs.”
Local development staff of the Episcopal Church of Liberia are working with government health staff in Bong County to distribute food items such as rice, cooking oil and canned meat to 500 people in four quarantined rural communities. Volunteers are delivering food and sanitation supplies to homes, and demonstrating correct mixing procedures for different concentrations of bleach water for hand-washing and cleaning. The supplies also include a hand-washing station made by installing a spigot in a covered five-gallon bucket, and a poster (see below) with accurate information about how to prevent Ebola and what to do if a family member presents symptoms of the disease.
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Text of health messaging poster being distributed in Liberia:
You can stop EBOLA!
Always wash your hands with soap
Do not hide sick people
Do not touch dead body
Do not eat bush meat
When you are sick with fever, headache, body pain, etc.
Go to the hospital quick, quick, quick
Listen to health workers – they know how best to help you
EBOLA can catch big people and small children
Read more about what Episcopal Relief is doing.
More on Cuttington College and its work in the crisis here.