Ebola has been a great set back to the economy of Sierra Leone and the other West African nations affected. Hope still remains with the resilient survivors in these nations. “Together we will win this fight,” Mr. Koroma, the President of Sierra Leone stated in a Press Conference earlier this week. There is new optimism in regards to slowing down, and finally ending this Ebola Epidemic. Many Organizations like WHO(World Health Organization), Red Cross, Hands For Africa, and the Melinda and Gates Foundation have donated a total of 100 million dollars to combat the Ebola Epidemic. Many individuals have helped provide the much needed protective gears by donating through one of the listed organizations and others. With the possibility of a vaccine becoming a reality, many people are hoping that the Ebola Epidemic will soon be over.
The United Nations is one of the Organizations that have donated 3.8 million of air services to help Doctors without Borders and other organizations operate more efficiently. Currently over 2200 people have died from this disease and over 50 medical personnel have also lost their lives to Ebola. The majority of the public is still learning how to deal with the sick, and how to prevent further cases. Many people are still using public taxis, buses and other public transportation after being infected by Ebola. The lack of education on the disease is costing many lives in some of these places. Another issue pointed out by Doctors without Borders is that dead bodies potentially infected with Ebola, are left out to rot in the streets. Although government representatives have denied such claims, it is apparent that certain incidents are not being handled with the necessary care that is needed with Ebola victims.
Ebola has also affected the economy of Sierra Leone, and other West African nations. Ebola has struck around the peak of the farming season for Sierra Leone. A large portion of the Sierra Leone Population are farmers in the agricultural industry, and are now left without food and no source of income to purchase food. More than 400,000 people are currently suffering from hunger in the countries affected by Ebola. These statistics were discovered by the Baptist World Alliance, an organization that donated over 20k to help Ebola victims. People are dying from starvation, and the price of food has increased due to shortages. To make matters more complicated, people are scared of going to hospitals for other diseases, because they are afraid of contracting Ebola, and this is leading to more deaths. Ebola has also deterred foreign investors who are not willing to buy products from any of these countries due to fear of Ebola. Air travel has also been suspended to these countries, and that increases the difficulty of bringing in much needed aid. The suspension of air travel has also impacted the trade industry in these countries, and it was never recommended by WHO. The possibility of Ebola spreading through air travel is very low, according to Nyka Alexander of WHO.
There is still much to be done, and everyone can play a part in helping slow down and eventually stop Ebola. Hope exists in the hearts of people like William Pooley, a nurse who was infected with Ebola while helping others recover. Mr. Pooley found himself hearing the same things he had told many patients that were infected. He never lost hope, and knew that he would make it out alive. He was transported to a hospital in London and walked out virus free. Mr. Pooley could just rest and feel proud of the work he has already done, but instead he is planning to go back. Mr. Pooley stated to BBC “So while I’m happy to be recovered and alive, there’s a lot of stuff on my mind with what’s going on back there. It would be relatively safe for me to go back and work there. It’s the least I could do.” A hero like Mr. William Pooley gives us all hope. Hope that someday Ebola will be over, and the country of Sierra Leone will go back to normal.
Thank you to our sources: www.theguardian.com, www.BBC.com, www.cdc.gov, www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
By: Oneill Taylor
Hands for Africa
Hands for Africa is a non-profit organization working to restore lost hope to those devastated by the civil war in Sierra Leone. We support amputee victims by developing and implementing self-reliance programs and providing the necessary aid for the advancement of these programs.