This post originally appeared on the SAHARA Project blog. Read it here.
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Situation on the Ground in West Africa
Many of us have closely followed the stories about the spread of Ebola in West Africa and particularly the miraculous story of the missionary aid workers, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, in their battle with the deadly virus. We may have wondered helplessly what we individually could do to combat the raging infection, which experts believe can be transmitted to humans by fruit bats and other carriers. Journalists on the ground have identified several surprisingly simple and cost-effective options for concerned readers.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal published a poignant piece, simply titled, “Ebola Virus: For Want of Gloves, Doctors Die.” The piece opens, “Rubber gloves were nearly as scarce as doctors in this part of rural Liberia,” and describes how concerned doctors would substitute plastic bags or even use their bare hands in their quest to heal sick patients. Sadly, many did not realize the patients had contracted Ebola until too late.
The lesson: “Much of this toll could have been avoided or at least mitigated, hospital workers on the front lines say, if they had been provided with medical basics, starting with one of the simplest: disposable rubber gloves.”
From Our Sources in the Field
We (at the SAHARA Project) have heard this same refrain from those involved with the fight against Ebola in Guinea, West Africa. When we contacted Compassion Evangelical Hospital there about ways to mitigate the dangers of the virus in the region, the hospital administrator echoed the same need. He reported that, “Since the onset of the epidemic, the consumption of chlorine in the hospital, in gloves, and other personal protective equipment has greatly increased” and requested a six-month supply of chlorine and rubber gloves for the staff, who are increasingly concerned about protection from the virus.
The six-month supply will cost approximately $2000.
While we are continuing our project training local eye technicians in Burundi for the fight against preventable blindness, we would love to be able to provide for Compassion at this critical moment.
Learn more about donating online here.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” ~ Helen Keller
Ashley Wright is the Vice President for the SAHARA Project, a non-profit organization focused on partnering with missions hospitals to spread basic medical care in Africa.