Presentation on theme: "Ebola: Voices from West Africa January 2015. What is Ebola? Since the outbreak of the epidemic in 2014, over 22, 000 people have been infected by Ebola."— Presentation transcript:
What is Ebola? Since the outbreak of the epidemic in 2014, over 22, 000 people have been infected by Ebola and over 9 000 have died from the disease. Schools and youth groups have generously raised nearly £20, 000 for our Ebola appeal, thank you. Although overall the epidemic seems to have stabilised, the number of new cases in Sierra Leone is a major concern. What is Ebola?
Your money has helped us tackle Ebola: We’ve trained 60 burial staff who have conducted 402 safe and dignified burials so far. We’ve rolled out an Ebola awareness training programme for faith leaders and volunteers. Already they’ve reached nearly 170, 000 people. 4, 800 people kept in quarantine have receive vital food packages. We’ve distributed outbreak prevention kits, including cleaning materials, to 995 places of worship to help them safely manage Ebola outbreaks. What is Ebola?
CAFOD is working alongside people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to support them during this crisis. (Ivory Coast) Where?
Alex Musa Koroma (third from the right) is a science teacher, but he has been unable to teach since May 2014, when the Ebola virus gripped his community of Kambia, in Sierra Leone. Today Alex leads a burial team supported by CAFOD and its partner Caritas Makeni. Alex
“I volunteered because Ebola is not just for medical staff. As a teacher I have to play my part.” The 60 strong burial team made up of men and women, on average attend to between six and eight bodies a day. The burial teams provide the deceased and their families with a safe and dignified burial. Alex
“Are you being careful?” Rachel, 14, is Alex’s daughter. Here they are sitting outside their school. Before the virus hit, Alex’s 14-year-old daughter Rachel would ask him: “Dad, how was your day?” Now she asks: “Are you being careful?” Rachel
Kadiatum is part of a burial team too. It hasn’t be easy for women to be accepted onto the burial teams; this kind of work is considered unsuitable for women in Sierra Leonean culture. Kadiatum
“Some people accept us, some don’t. But overall we are generally treated well and people appreciate women being on the teams. Some doubted we would be strong enough to pick up and carry the bodies, but we have proved we can do it.” Kadiatum
“We are part of the hero group. We are fighting the battle. I hope that after the final eradication of Ebola, Sierra Leone and its future generations will prosper.” Alex Thanks to the work of people like Alex and Kadiatum, the number of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone is starting to fall. Alex is rightly proud of his role and hopeful for the future. Alex and Kadiatum
Catherine “It’s been a privilege to work with our Sierra Leone team and Caritas partners.” Catherine is CAFOD’s Emergency Response Coordinator for West Africa. She has been working in Sierra Leone since October 2014. She has been working alongside CAFOD staff and partners to tackle Ebola.
Catherine “I find it hard to reflect on my time here, because I found, like so many others, the only way to deal with things was to roll up my sleeves and get on with the job. There were moments when despite that, the gravity and terrible sadness of what we were doing crept into some of the essential practical tasks that we needed to carry out.”
Catherine “When I return home, I will be able to touch people again – it’s something you miss here: no handshakes, no hugs make you feel connected. It has given me a glimpse of the isolation that Ebola has imposed on people here.”
Catherine “Ending Ebola goes beyond eradicating this appalling disease, it means tackling extreme poverty that allowed it to ravage this beautiful country in the first place.” "We will be working flat out until there are no longer any new cases."
Thank you for all your prayers and fundraising so far.
Let us pray... Lord God, we entrust to you those affected by Ebola. We pray especially for the health care workers, that you may guide and protect them. We pray that your Spirit may inspire those researching the drugs, medicines and health care systems that will stop people’s suffering. And in the midst of this, keep us strong in faith, hope and love. We entrust ourselves and those affected by Ebola to your infinite power and love. Amen. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” Isaiah 41:10