Ebola reaches Waterloo, Sierra Leone
We have just heard from our team in Waterloo, Sierra Leone that there are now 21 confirmed Ebola cases in Waterloo, of whom 6 have died, and four locations in the town are quarantined. The local outbreak began when two Ebola patients died in the Seventh Day Adventist hospital (SDAH), which was then quarantined for 21 days along with all staff and patients, and placed under military guard.
The pressures on the community are immense. Patients normally seen at the SDAH will have to go to the Health Clinic, and many other hospitals and satellite clinics are being closed. We know that resources are being diverted from general health care during the height of the malaria season to fund the Ebola response.
Moreover supplies of protective clothing and equipment are running out. Many people have little understanding of the virus and this has led to dangerous behaviour, ranging from handshaking to the concealment of Ebola cases.
All schools are closed, food prices have rocketed, transport is being restricted, and there are road blocks and a new emergency Ebola assessment centre near Waterloo. Many towns are virtually blockaded. With borders closed and flights much reduced the country is rapidly running out of essential medical supplies.
WPUK has responded by sending emergency funding of £1000 to WPSL to pay for protective equipment for the Health Centre and a Health Education workshop on personal protection However, the situation is very unpredictable and we will have to respond flexibly as events unfold.
Please remember the community of Waterloo SL in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to express your concern in a tangible way, please make a donation via the WP website , or send it to our Treasurer, Rick Walker, 17 Mayfair Avenue, Crosby, L23 2TL.
Fred Nye, Chair.
5th September 2014