Update on Ebola in West Africa: How we’re stopping it, how you can help

July 7, 2014

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I wrote last week about the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and what can be done to stop it. Thanks in part to help from supporters in North America, including the actor Jeffrey Wright, BRAC USA has responded with emergency funding to BRAC Sierra Leone to contain the crisis.

Community health worker Rugiatu Benson conducts a health forum in Port Loko, Sierra Leone. (BRAC/Jake Lyell, 2010)

Community health worker Rugiatu Benson conducts a health forum in Port Loko, Sierra Leone. (BRAC/Jake Lyell, 2010)

UPDATE: A post on our Ebola relief efforts as of Aug. 15, 2014.

I wrote last week about the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and what can be done to stop it. Thanks in part to help from supporters in North America, including the actor Jeffrey Wright, BRAC USA has responded with emergency funding to BRAC Sierra Leone to contain the crisis.

More funds are still needed. We continue our outreach efforts to raise support from the general public. For those located in North America and Asia, all donations received before midnight on July 11, 2014 will support community health outreach for Ebola.

I spoke again to Tapan Karmakar, country representative of BRAC Sierra Leone, who highlighted the need to sustain a campaign by BRAC’s frontline force of 400 women community health workers.

These health workers are now fanning out into communities, distributing flyers, putting up posters and talking to their neighbors about best practices for stopping Ebola in its tracks. Health precautions include hand-washing and sanitizing after handling the diseased and dead.

“Our biggest constraint is funding,” says Karmakar. “We have 400 community health workers ready to go, already trained on how to stop Ebola. But we need funding to pay for things like flyers and leaflets, food and travel costs, and disinfectant.”

This map from Reuters, also shown at the bottom of this post, shows the current reach of this deadly disease.

As I wrote last week, community health workers are among the best front-line defenders against Ebola.

These self-employed women are trained by BRAC and work in their local villages to provide basic, affordable health goods and services to their neighbors.

We’re confident this campaign will help these communities stop the spread of Ebola, raise general health awareness, and better equip them to combat such crises in the future.

Please donate here to provide BRAC community health workers like Rugiatu Benson, pictured above, with the necessary materials they need to combat the spread of this deadly virus.

ebola-map-reuters

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