Aug 2014 Helping fight Ebola, Liberia

Tue, Aug 26th 2014 at 9:00 am - 9:00 am

The club agreed to send �1000 direct to Peace Scholar Rich Allison to support his work in Liberia combatting Ebola with basic hygiene equipment and education.

Following an appeal to Rotary for help at a crucial time for Liberia the club has sent £1000 direct to Rich Allison to support him and his local charity spreading essential knowledge and practical help about the deadly Ebola virus amongst the people in Liberia.

    'Fighting a War with an invisible Enemy !'

President Alan says - as our Peace scholar last year, Rich gave us excellent support and Council have unanimously decided that our club should support him at this very difficult time, with wide Club support.

I am delighted that some of our hard-earned funds from Xmas parking will be used to try and hold back this terrible disease.  Ill keep you updated with any news we get from Rich but he is clearly very busy right now.

If you read the news about Ebola in Liberia you will see that they are suffering the highest number of deaths and biggest problems. Here is a sample of current reports:

    Liberia has been hit hardest, recording 1,082 cases and 624 deaths.
    In Liberia, a teenage boy died after being shot by security forces in West Point, a slum that was blockaded this week to stop the spread of Ebola, a Liberia government spokesman said on Friday. Shakie Kamara was hurt in a clash with police and soldiers who sealed off their peninsula from the rest of Monrovia.  Days earlier in West Point, slum dwellers ransacked a holding center for Ebola patients after realizing that some patients had come from other parts of the city. Looters then made off with bloody sheets and mattresses that could spread the disease.
    The government began distributing rice, some of it donated by the World Food Program, to alleviate food shortages a day after cordoning off the slum, said information minister Lewis Brown.

DG Nick Corke, PDG Steve Munns, District Foundation Chair, and Pat Webb, District Peace Officer, are as thrilled as I am that you have agreed to do this.
Hilary King - District

Rich has sent us the following messages about how he plans to use our donation and update us on progress:

30 July 2014
I have got no doubt that you have already learned about  the Ebola threat in Liberia.  It is very serious  and I am now working on programs to raise awareness amongst, especially young, people about the disease.  I am also working in local communities eg getting people to wash their hands regularly and avoid  crowded areas.

12 August 2014

The Ebola situation in the sub region has overwhelmed the entire region.

Whilst the various governments strive to control the disease, people continue to get infected due to ignorance and also the lack of simple safety sanitation tools which can help fight the disease. Over the last few days, I have being involved in raising awareness amongst people in my community and other areas like washing hands with chorine as a mean of being protected. During the course of my work, I discovered that most people lack basic stuff like bucket, soaps and chlorine and this has lead them to engage in harmful practices which tend to spread the disease quickly.

Two days ago, two people living in a community close to my neighbourhood perished. I knew one of them, a promising nurse who went to school with my wife.
Realizing the danger, I requested my organization, the West African Youth Network (WAYN) to undertake a cross border sensitization campaign at vulnerable border areas under the theme: Youths Action to fight Ebola.  Our cross border youth committees are now active working with Health teams and we have gotten support from partners.
At the local level, I have today started a unique program working with community volunteers. This program has as its theme:  If I can help someone, then my Living will not be in vain.  The program encompasses awareness raising and the provision of essential supplies (bucket, chlorine, soaps etc) to people living in impoverished communities. Towards this end we have launched an appeal for people to contribute these materials to be distributed to communities and families.  Each distribution will be recorded in the media and photos forwarded to donors.
I write to ask you to kindly share this with anyone in the UK who wish to make any donation to the fight against Ebola and help save lives.
12 August 2014

Thanks for the prompt response.  Yes this problem has overwhelmed our health system and our way of life beyond ones wildest imagination. The Liberian government has been working to contain it, including the declaration of a state of emergency, but I am of the opinion that this should have been done a long time ago, not only from a health perspective but also a security perspective as this disease now threatens our national security and survival as a nation.
The health workers on the front line fighting the disease continue to be infected. I got news about 20 minutes ago that my high school pal, Dr. Philip Ireland is now in isolation. I keep my kids within our fence the entire day. The government lacks the equipment to handle the situation. Today, the Chinese government donated about 10 thousand pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Another problem is people continue to deny the existence of the disease.
Donations for materials in Liberia can be sent directly to me (eg by moneygram) and I will forward it.

26th August
Thanks so much. I received the money yesterday.  I have been busy today working in the community.  I will post you some pictures soon.

Dear All:
The 1000 pound donation will go a long way in helping this work with young people.  We hope to extend into Sierra Leone as well.
Tomorrow, I will be involved in donating buckets to churches and on Tuesday conducting a workshop for community volunteers.

28th August
I hope this finds you well. I am sad to inform you that I just received a message that I lost a cousin today from this terrible disease.
 We have commenced the process of distributing buckets and chlorine in local communities. Yesterday, I went to deliver some buckets at one of the Police Stations and was pleased to notice that everyone entering the Police station have to test their temperatures before entering. I was impressed as it suggests that people are now taking the disease seriously.
 Here are photos from the distribution yesterday.  I will be sending more.

8th September

Hope this finds  you well. We are still going through this difficult moment in Liberia. Sending you more photos.

Regards, Rich

Date: Tue, 26 May 2015
Subject: Liberia is Ebola Free!

Dear friends
Hope this finds you well.  I am delighted to inform you that Liberia has been declared Ebola free.  This great accomplishment will allow  Liberians to now focus and re direct their energies to other critical issues, including governance, peace and security.  Guinea and Sierra Leone are still trying to beat the disease .
I want to also thank you for your support to our work.
Regards, Rich

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