Remember Ebola America? This past Fall of 2014 you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Ebola. News surfaced that the outbreak in West Africa had spread to America. The first diagnosed person in the US was Thomas Duncan, a Liberian man who contracted Ebola before flying to Texas in September. Two nurses who treated Duncan also were infected, eight days later Duncan died. Duncan became the first person to die of Ebola in the US but the nurses where treated and declared safe.
A month later in New York City panic erupted when Dr. Craig Spencer returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea. News surfaced that not only did he contract the Ebola virus but he rode multiple subway lines and ate at popular restaurants and bars. I could not go anywhere in NYC without hearing someone talking about the threat of Ebola. About 10 days later Dr. Spencer was declared Ebola free and there’s been no reported cases in the US since.
However, the outbreak is still present in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Even though Ebola is missing from our US headlines to date there has been 10,000 recorded deaths in these three West African countries since the outbreak started roughly a year ago.
But there is good news, Liberia announced it has release its last Ebola patient. Just like the US did this past November, Liberia can start their 42 day countdown to be declared Ebola free with the World Health Organization protocols and standards. Many countries around the world have come together to treat and regulate the spread of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and their efforts are making a difference.
The Ebola outbreak has done even more damage to these countries. The Ebola crisis has hurt businesses, limited resources and has cost the three African countries 12 percent of their gross domestic product. Furthermore, over 16,000 children have register having lost one or both parent/primary caregiver to Ebola. These children are orphans and many are in shelters or have been quarantined.
But there is good news, in Sierra Leone there’s been a ban on FGM/C [female genital mutilation/cutting] as a result of Ebola. In addition, there are many organization working with the children orphaned by Ebola.
Although the Ebola crisis has taken many lives progress has be made. Hopefully in 42 days Liberia can be declared Ebola free and efforts can continue on eradicating the virus in Guinea and Sierra Leone. So many countries from around the globe have come together to aid in this crisis and that is a beautiful thing.
Henry Ford once said “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” So I guess my Ebola update is one of success, I hope my next update will be of even more success.
Remember Knowledge is Power and Power is possibility especially when we come together!
Below are a list of aid organization involved in ending this crisis. Give, get involved!
Organizations helping staff aid workers to fight Ebola:
Nothing But Nets
Doctors without Borders
Here are aid organizations working with children orphaned by Ebola: