Health officials say the Ebola outbreak, centered in West Africa, is the deadliest ever with over 1,093 infected and almost 500 of those from Sierra Leone. Greatest Goal Ministries operates a free outpatient hospital in Lakka. The military has set up Ebola isolation tents directly outside the doors of our hospital. This project will provide the desperately needed supplies and protective clothing for health care workers as well as support information materials needed for the community.
The Ebola virus disease has been detected for the first time in West Africa. Fruit bats are believed to be the natural hosts of the Ebola virus and then transmitted to people. The virus is passed from person to person through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment available. It is 90% fatal. 458 confirmed cases have now been documented from all districts of Sierra Leone with 153 deaths reported.
The citizens of Sierra Leone need to understand that Ebola is a medical disease. They need to start understanding how this disease is spread and how to prevent further spread. This can only be done in the community through media, leaflets and door to door sensitization programs. This project will help provide funding for these community awareness programs. Healthcare workers need to be protected from contracting the disease. This project will provide funds for personal protective equipment.
Sierra Leone has some of the poorest health indicators in the world and the least amount of resources to adequately protect healthcare workers. For the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown, this is an important time. Raising awareness of the risk factors for infection and protective measures that should be taken is the only way to stop this epidemic. If the outbreak is not contained, health officials are worried that it may spread to other countries in the region.