By now, you’ve probably heard about the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. If you haven’t, I recommend you take the time to read this recent update from Doctors Without Borders, which will clue you in about the virus, its transmission, the relief efforts currently in place, and the tremendous challenges that continue to pop up.
If you’re familiar with our work, you know that we have a maternal & child healthcare clinic in Brewerville, Liberia. Our clinic is on the periphery of Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia, where Ebola is currently spreading. We see approximately 1,000 patients per month, many of them local, but some traveling more than 25 miles for care and treatment. With Ebola looming, nearby hospitals and healthcare facilities are turning away patients presenting Ebola symptoms or shutting their doors entirely. We’re committed to keeping our clinic open, but safeguarding our staff and patients against the virus has become our number one priority at this time. The threat of Ebola is too great to ignore.
We are reaching out wherever we can for support. As of right now, we have a damaged roof in our clinic annex that needs to be repaired — this will serve as a temporary isolation triage for patients presenting Ebola symptoms. Our staff needs to be equipped with the necessary masks, goggles, and protective coverings in the event of an Ebola patient. Our patients themselves need such protection as well. Ordinarily, we have a very efficient and safe method of waste disposal and sanitation, but it is necessary that we exercise even more caution.
Education is a huge issue. Many people in Brewerville are illiterate; this reality is bad enough as it is, but with a fatal virus it becomes deadly. Text-free illustrative posters and other such accessible means of educating the public can be of great help in this time. We are hoping to procure and disseminate as much information as we can to our community. Rumors, lies, and conspiracy theories are spreading at about the same rate as the Ebola virus. All we can do to combat such misinformation is keep reaching out with the facts. Ebola is confusing and it is terrifying; we do not blame anybody for casting doubts about its seriousness.
Here in the US, we have the money, the infrastructure, and the global stage. Sadly, West Africa does not share such a privilege. But people are dying, and this disease is devastating. We would really appreciate if you could visit our Global Giving Ebola project and, if you are able, donate to our clinic. Even reblogging or passing along this link to a few of your friends would be tremendous.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update. We regret that we don’t have good news, but our hope endures. With the right resources and with a lot of hands we can rid Liberia of this awful disease.
Bless you all!