Ebola Appeal Update - 27 January 2015

It seems that there remains cause for cautious optimism that the spread of the Ebola virus is at last declining. The latest figures from the WHO seem to confirm that there has been a sharp reduction in reported cases since the beginning of the New Year. There were 117 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 18 January 2015, compared with 184 the previous week and 248 the week before that.

That good news has been reinforced by the announcement by the Government that it is looking to open schools again in March. We know that that will be greeted with some relief by our team in Waterloo. Rosetta has described the teachers as “chomping at the bit” to get back and re-open their schools.

However, there was an interesting debate at our most recent Ebola education forum in Bangura Community Centre. Joseph Mboka from the WHO warned against complacency. Ebola had not yet been eradicated. Deaths have still occurred in the various communities. It was therefore important to continue with the good practises that have been learnt over the past few weeks and months. There was still a concern that people continued to hide the sick. Perhaps it was too early to re-open the schools.

Augusta Foday representing the Red Cross Society stressed the importance of continuing to take heed to medical advice. She also talked about stigmatization. It was important to embrace orphans and other survivors: “Let us accept them so that they can feel at home and do not feel rejected.”

Rosetta and her team have decided that the time is now right to hold a larger forum, with a focus on education, children and stigmatization, and what to do when the schools re-open. Currently the forum is planned for 14 February 2015.

And finally, of course, we are continuing, as you can see from the photos, to ensure that the orphans we have ben provided for are not forgotten!

The CODEP team



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