The deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) continues to affect communities in the sub-region of West Africa, affecting Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone; this is the largest outbreak ever recorded. The aggressive virus is among those that have neither cure nor vaccine to date. The Ebola outbreak has claimed thousands of lives in the past several months, growing rapidly in countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The virus causes hemorrhagic fever and is often fatal; there is no vaccine or established cure.
Since this is the first time this virus is affecting people in this part of Africa, there is a great need for awareness about its nature, effects, symptoms and means of prevention.
One of the ways Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been responding to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and Liberia is as a member of the ACT Alliance. In this video, ACT Alliance board member, Paul Valentin, talks about the situation on the ground in Sierra Leone and ACT's work with affected communities.
The Ebola crisis is more than a health issue. A major issue facing Ebola survivors and families who have been quarantined is food shortages and the ability to maintain livelihoods. PC(USA) is addressing this issue through the work of the West Africa Initiative (WAI), a joint project of the One Great Hour of Sharing programs: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Hunger Program and the Self-Development of People Program.
The WAI projects in Sierra Leone and Liberia have been actively engaged in responding to the current Ebola crisis by providing Ebola identification and prevention programs, helping with the distribution of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for use by healthcare workers, and continued improvement of food security and family incomes by maintaining agricultural production at the community level.