Farming NGO Pitches in to Help With Ebola in Liberia
BRUSSELS–The government of Liberia is working hard to fight the Ebola epidemic, but its efforts have fallen far short of the need.
Stanley Slagmolen, a representative of the Farmers’ Union Network (FUN) of Liberia, said at an NGO conference in Brussels last week that the country badly needs international assistance.
“It’s devastating,” he said. “The most dramatic thing about Ebola, is that it has wiped out the medical system in the country, it is completely gone.”
FUN has dropped its other projects and is working to inform people about the disease, how it is transmitted, and what a person can do to protect him or herself.
“One of the things is that some villages are very remote, and if Ebola happens in a remote village, the whole village can be wiped out,” he said
To prevent ebola from speaking, people have to be quarantined, which means they cannot leave their homes to buy necessities. Slagmolen says his organization also helps by bringing people food and water so they can remain at home.
“I think it’s beginning to work,” he said about the quarantine procedures.
As Ebola continues to spread in West Africa, Liberia remains one of the three most affected countries in the region along with Sierra Leone and Guinea.
According the World Health Organization (WHO), 6,525 people were diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia, and 2,697 of them had died as of Nov. 2.
The atmosphere of terror of the disease is still there, Slagmolen said, but there is more confidence now that it can be overcome.
“I think the help we are receiving, particularly from U.S., the confidence in what people are doing, is growing among the population and it will help us end it,” he said.
Doctors Without Borders (DWB) confirmed on Monday that there has seen a significant reduction in the number of new Ebola cases in Liberia.
“In Liberia, the international response is finally getting off the ground,” Fasil Tezera, DWB head of operations in Liberia said in a press release. “Financial support is starting to flow into the country and huge resources are being put into constructing large-scale Ebola isolation centers.”
However DWB warns that the fight is far from over, and that to make sure it does not rise again, the healthcare system there needs to be re-opened and more resources put where fresh outbreaks occur.