The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which was first reported in March, has rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976.
Up to 5 September 2014, 2,105 people had been reported as having died from the disease in four countries: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
Ebola deaths - probable, confirmed and suspected:
- 1,089 Liberia
- 517 Guinea
- 491 Sierra Leone
- 8 Nigeria
Among the casualties have been those working in the Order’s hospitals in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Order’s reputation for quality services there has meant desperate patients are travelling long distances to our hospitals in search of care. The Order has lost a number of co-workers, three Brothers: Brother Patrick Nshamdze, Brother George Combey and Brother Miguel Pajares and one Sister and as a result of the Ebola epidemic.
Two of the centres had to close for a period of time but after a period in quarantine, during which time cleaning, disinfection, fumigation, renovation and replacement of old equipment took place, the Brothers’ 146 bed hospital in Mabessaneh, Lunsar has re-opened. It provides medical and surgical services together with maternity, paediatric, laboratory, x-ray and outpatient departments.
It is also now equipped to deal with Ebola related patients, if necessary. The Government recently donated a consignment of personal, protective material as well as mattresses and disinfectant to the hospital.
The items were formally handed over to the hospital management by Chief Bai Koblo Queen (right in photo) at a brief ceremony that was attended by traditional authorities and staff and workers of the hospital.
Liberia and Sierre Leone are two of the poorest countries in the world so funding is crucial to finance treatment, and to provide equipment to protect those who are treating those infected, for example protective body suits, rubber boots, chemical resistant gloves, goggles, disinfectant, stretchers, even body bags. They also need to employ more nurses, doctors and aids
If you would like to help, please visit the website of the Order’s fundraising charity, The Do Good Charity – www.dogoodcharity.org.uk or send cheques payable to the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God to Saint Bede’s House, Morton Park Way, Darlington, Co Durham, DL1 4XZ.