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.
We must attend to the social, emotional and spiritual needs of all those facing health challenges. For many years, Caritas and other Catholic Church-inspired organisations have delivered health care to people who need it in both emergency and day-to-day situations, building the capacities of local communities to prevent the onset of illness and provide medicines and other life-saving supplies for treatment programmes.
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.
Caritas Internationalis health expert Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo is in Monrovia in Liberia, helping the local Church in its Ebola response. He finds a country and a people transformed by the killer virus.
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.
New technologies offer hope to sick people living in poverty. At an AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, four scientists associated with Catholic institutions discussed ways to measure HIV infections and treat them.
UNAIDS is moving from a strategy of ‘zero new infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, zero discrimination’ to one where 9 out of ten people who are living with HIV know their status, receive therapy and that the virus is surpressed in their bodies.