Just a quick one today. News from Adam that a rumour has been flooding through Makeni that Ebola has been cured. The government swiftly issued a press release to deny this, but sadly the story seems to be catching on, as Patrick (in Freetown) has emailed me this morning to relay the story that Makeni is Ebola free and people are dancing in the streets.
It’s yet another example of the tragic spread of false information that is hampering efforts to control this outbreak.
Here’s something, though: The organisation Families Without Borders have set up a fundraising page to allow people to donate to the University of Makeni’s efforts to help their community. If anyone is minded to donate, please visit the page here.
I can’t commend the university’s work highly enough – Father Joe, the inspirational Vice Chancellor I have spoken of before, is leading the university’s efforts and visiting the houses of the sick himself to bring food and comfort to those suffering in quarantine. They are co-ordinating and supporting the local response and providing community leadership. They are comforting the sick and bereaved and draining their own resources to buy much needed supplies. Go to the page and watch Adam’s video. It doesn’t take long.
Even the smallest donations can have a huge impact here. In Sierra Leone, wages are often less than a dollar a day, so what feels like a small donation here can go a long way over there. And of course, every penny helps in a situation like this.
If you’re felling brave, this post, from Makeni, makes for pretty harrowing reading but really brings home the human cost of this outbreak. It’s a tough read, I warn you.
Any donation you make can make a real impact. Apparently we can’t seem to stop wars or poverty or so many of the other ills of the world, but this is a situation where £5 can buy a box of gloves that will save lives. I’m not one for begging on this blog but, dammit, this is a tiny organisation of kind people who are risking their own safety to provide real and direct help to desperate people in their community. I think they’re worth backing.
Please, lend them a hand – and share this story if you can.