2014 was a terrible year for Liberia. Everyone has a horror story. Whole families were eradicated. The Catholic hospital here in Monrovia lost most of its health staff and management. They didn’t run away; they are dead.
When the worst outbreak of Ebola in history struck West Africa, Caritas swung into action. Much has been done to contain the outbreak and care for communities affected, but more action is needed in 2015.
In addition to providing health care for other illnesses and establishing strict infection control procedures and screening areas in order to prevent transmission of the virus in the health care setting, the Church has mobilized a community response and community education in order to engage clergy and local parish groups in efforts to stop the spread of the Ebola virus.
Children whose parents have died; children who have recovered from the virus themselves; children whose families and sense of security have been shattered by the emotional and economic toll of the disease—huge numbers of children in West Africa have been affected by Ebola over the past terrifying months.
In partnership with the Red Cross, Caritas Internationalis and other faith based organisation, the World Health Organisation has updated step-by-step processes for safe and dignified burials in the wake of the Ebola epidemic.
Greeting friends without hugging, waiting for relatives to emerge from quarantine, calling an ambulance that doesn’t arrive—this is what daily life in Sierra Leone looks like as Ebola ravages the West African country.
Our whole city Kenema was worst hit at the outbreak of this dreadful Ebola virus. Many families have been wiped out and many children have been orphaned. There are also many widows and widowers who lost their partners to Ebola. People are traumatised and stigmatised.
Caritas on the front lines of Africa’s Ebola crisis. Caritas reaches out to people who are particularly at risk: “restaurant workers, taxi drivers, hotel staff, markets, places where people gather,” said Edward John-Bull of Caritas Sierra Leone.
As cholera spreads across Sierra Leone, thousands of people have fallen seriously ill. Edward John-Bull, director of Caritas Sierra Leone, spoke with Caritas Communications Officer Laura Sheahen about the epidemic—and what Caritas is doing to help.