That might seem like a strange blog title, but it is true, I really do need you. This Saturday we will be assembling 250 Ebola Caregiver kits to ship to Sierra Leone. I have partnered with World Vision to help protect the men and women who have courageously chosen to deal with containing this outbreak, as well as helping people through the devastating loss of friends and family.
I really need your help in 3 areas:
1. Funding the cost for 250 kits. The cost is $30.00 per kit. On your phone, text the word “GIVE30” to: 1-855-581-1777 you can donate $30.00 safely and securely.
2. Show up and build some kits. If you are able to come to the gym at Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church this Saturday from 10am to noon with your family and friends, we will have a great time doing something meaningful together! directions All the items will be grouped in stations ready for us to assemble and prepare for shipping. I will have some info at the bottom of this post about what is in the kit.
3. Spread the word. While Ebola is not a daily threat in the U.S, it is still a crisis in West Africa. Help me keep people informed and motivated to make a difference where they can. Feel free to share this blog post as a way to do just that!
When people in the U.S heard the report of one or two people confirmed to have entered the States carrying the EBOLA virus, panick ensued. In Western Africa Ebola is still spreading. In fact, there is widespread belief by WHO and CDC officials that the outbreak numbers are much higher than are being reported.
As of December 12th, 2014 there are now more cases of ebola in Sierra Leone than in Liberia or Guinea with total cases just under 18,000 globally. This is particularly alarming as there remain far fewer ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone as compared to Liberia. This graph displays the total ebola treatment centers completed or planned in the three countries. Note the significant lack of centers in Sierra Leone. There are currently 4 centers with just 8 more planned.
What is in the Kit? Latex gloves, face masks, face shield, protective gown, biohazard waste bag, soap, disinfectant, spray bottle, Acetaminophen, oral rehydration salts, information about disease control, and a handwritten note of encouragement from your congregation
Who determined the contents of the Kit? Combination of WHO recommendations plus input from WV health experts and World Vision Sierra Leone staff.
Who supplies the products in the Kit? McKesson, the largest provider of healthcare products in the country, is our supplier.
How will the completed Kits get to Sierra Leone? Completed Kits will be shipped to Sierra Leone through World Vision’s established supply chain.
In Sierra Leone, World Vision is:
- Providing personal protective equipment for health professionals
- Organizing awareness, prevention, and education campaigns
- Training and coordinating burial teams
World Vision-trained staff in Sierra Leone are organizing massive awareness, prevention, and education campaigns to protect children from the disease through radio and house-to-house information sharing.
The organization is training faith leaders, other influential community authorities, and frontline community health workers to share prevention messages at the community and household levels.
Spiritual leaders, including many pastors, have been central to Ebola prevention efforts. “When so many communities face such terrible suffering, the church must be there to combat fear, stigma, isolation, and hopelessness with both love and tangible support,” said Bruno Col, World Vision communications director in West Africa.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden is now expressing concern over the rising cases in Sierra Leone and the need for quick action by major governments and others. “Speed. That’s key to ending the Ebola epidemic, otherwise, Ebola could become a permanent disease in West Africa. That’s exactly the risk we face now. That Ebola will simmer along, become endemic and be a problem for Africa and the world, for years to come,” Frieden tells NPR. “That is what I fear most.” The biggest challenge right now is in Sierra Leone, he says, where the epidemic shows no signs of slowing down. New cases continue to rise exponentially. Last week, the country reported nearly 400 cases, or more than three times the number of cases reported by Guinea and Liberia combined. (taken from WV church response update)
World Vision is also helping through education. Working together with faith leaders to help inform people about curtailing the spread of Ebola, and helping in a sanitary and dignified way to bury those who have died from the disease.
Bodies of those who have died from Ebola carry high concentrations of the virus that can spread to others through contact. Family members and friends who follow the local practice of washing and preparing their loved ones’ bodies for burial are at high risk of contracting the disease.
With funding from the British Department for International Development (DFID), World Vision is taking a leadership role in training, equipping, and coordinating burial teams to provide burials for Ebola victims in Sierra Leone that preserve tradition, yet prevent further contamination.
World Vision leads a national consortium of organizations providing safe burials, and coordinates burial teams in six districts. When a death call comes into one of the organization’s call centers, an eight-man team responds. (taken from WV church response update)
Thanks for partnering to make a difference.
Sierra Leone: Safe and dignified burials curb Ebola from World Vision Church on Vimeo.
Ebola Response: Channels of Hope Sierra Leone from World Vision Church on Vimeo.