Urgent Appeal: The disabled in Sierra Leone are in danger of Ebola

22/8/14

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Five months ago, an Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic outbroke in Western African countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone). More than 1,600 people have been infected with the deadly virus and more than 1 in 2 of them died within a handful of days because of profuse bleeding.

Ebola virus is transmitted through contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person. In the dire sanitaryconditions of the densely populated Sierra Leonean cities, the danger of such a contamination is huge. The missionary Fr. Themistocles Adamopoulos and our Fraternity make an appeal for the immediate support of the Orthodox Mission in the country to halt the spread of the disease. Fr. Themistocles describes the situation.

(…) Ηere in Sierra Leone, the nation is presently under a state of emergency due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus which has no cure and a 90% death rate. Unfortunately we have become the epicentre of this fatal epidemic. (…)

Today has been declared by the President of Sierra Leone as a national day of prayer and fasting and a day of national emergency known as Operation Octopus. It is designed to prevent the public movement of people in the streets and ensure the quarantining of certain eastern districts of the nation. Consequently, people are not permitted to leave their house and the army and police are patrolling and monitoring the situation. (…)

Our main concern is that many of the disabled and amputees that we are sheltering at the “Village of the Disabled” in Waterloo have the habit of begging in the streets of Freetown. Therefore they are exposing themselves to Ebola contamination because of their constant contact with strangers. They have become a high risk category and therefore endanger others. If only one of them become contaminated, they will also spread the virus throughout our Waterloo compound, which would be a disaster, because we are also sheltering their children there as well!

In order to keep them from begging, we have designed a plan to provide daily food supplies and therefore removing the need for begging. In this way, we will be able to quarantine the entire compound from any outside contacts. Thanks to your previous container we still have some food supplies left (rice, oil, sugar, tomato sauce etc). But this will perhaps be sufficient for two weeks or so. (…)

Τhere are also some further needs at this time: We need to purchase and distribute sanitary supplies (chlorine, medical gloves, antiseptic soap, face masks etc.) as well as to stock our clinic with various necessary medical supplies, including the boosting of our present financial power to cover the fees for medical treatment of those falling sick during this period. (…)

Dear friends,

Help us to save human lives in Sierra Leone. There is an immediate need to raise at least 20,000 euros, in order to pay for the feeding of the amputees in Waterloo. If we don’t help now, then soon the “Village of the Disabled” will be past, because all its residents will have been infected with Ebola virus.

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