The Church Continues Fighting Ebola in Africa
Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer
- Since its outbreak in Africa, Ebola has claimed more than 4,500 lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana.
- The Church, together with other church and humanitarian organizations, continues its support of those affected by the outbreak.
The Church is continuing its efforts to help contain the deadly Ebola outbreak, working closely with a variety of trusted partners to deliver education and relief aid to virus-weary areas of the world.
Bruce Muir, the Church’s humanitarian response director, said several LDS-sponsored projects were organized and executed to meet the immediate needs of Ebola victims and relief workers while helping to prevent future outbreaks of the deadly disease.
Since its outbreak about a year ago, the Ebola virus has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 people in the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana.
The Church initially responded by sending relief supplies to members in affected areas—including food, hygiene kits, and cleaning items.
The recent projects will benefit both Ebola victims and health providers, said Brother Muir. In each case, the Church partnered with established, well-respected relief groups. “These are all top-notch organizations,” he added.
The Church worked with the United Nations to provide food for about a half-million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Working with the relief agency CARE, the Church donated hygiene and sanitation kits to those same nations. Also included in the project were educational materials to help prevent the spread of Ebola and future outbreaks of the disease.
The Church has also worked closely with the humanitarian arm of the Assemblies of God Fellowship, providing medical supplies and personal protection outfits to hospitals and clinics in Liberia. Food, hygiene kits, and sanitation supplies were delivered to communities in Sierra Leone and Liberia as part of a cooperative project with ADRA, the humanitarian organization sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Church has also worked with the global relief organization International Medical Corps on a pair of projects to distribute medical supplies and personal protection gear to African nations impacted by the disease. Brother Muir said Ebola conditions are improving in West Africa, but ongoing educational efforts remain essential.
The Church transferred all missionaries serving in Liberia and Sierra Leone out of those countries, assigning them to other missions. “The stake and ward missionaries in those countries have done a good job in their place,” said Brother Muir.