Ebola: how we can help - advice from UNICEF

We are working together with our friends and partners at Build on Books and the Waterloo Partnership, to try and co-ordinate our response to the Ebola crisis.

Lori Spragg who runs Build on Books has contacted UNICEF who are coordinating the response to ebola in Sierra Leone and spoke to Mr Roland Monash who is charge of all ebola logistics. Lori obtained some useful advice about what we can do to help.

The way the treatment of ebola is supposed to work is that only special ebola response teams are allowed to treat or move ebola positive patients and they must move them in special ambulance to Kenema and Kalihun, the only two Ebola Treatment Centres in Sierra Leone. The ebola response teams visit quarantined people daily, the quarantined are not yet Ebola positive. They test them and send anyone who tests positive to the centres.

Local health workers and anyone else are not supposed to touch or treat anyone with ebola symptoms. People without symptoms are not infectious. However Rosetta has told us that the extent of the tragedy in Sierra Leone is so great that there are simply insufficient resources. The local health team in Waterloo, led by Mr Jajua are having to test the suspected cases themselves. They are also the only ones visiting and monitoring the quarantined people in their homes. For this they need protective gear. This cannot be washed with chlorine and has to be burnt. The ebola response ambulance can take a long time by which time contamination can occur.

Lori asked how we can best help the situation in Waterloo. Mr Monarsh advised that we concentrate on the following:

(i) Prevention and sensitivation training. This is to get the “no touching” message across;

(ii) Supplies to the health centre including gloves, protective and sanitisation equipment, chlorine drums, hand sanitisers, liquid soap, floor brushes. All the SL health clinics are running low on equipment and supplies of every kind.

(iii) Food Aid for the quarantined (and health workers as needed);

(iv) Increasing food supplies.

This is and will be the focus of all our collective efforts in the UK and SL. If you would like to help, please go to our Just Giving Page

The CODEP Team

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