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.
In order to stimulate attention from governments and pharmaceutical companies, Caritas initiated a child advocacy program, the Prescription for Life Letter Writing Campaign, which encourages children to write letters to governments and drug companies to advocate for children with HIV across the world.
The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, UNAIDS and the city’s state university joined their voices on 23 May to promote equality and the elimination of stigma and discrimination. Caritas Internationalis was present.