News Africa

Wednesday 17 September 2014

GOAL to send support team to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

Published 07/08/2014 | 11:36

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GOAL is sending a support team to Sierra Leone in the coming days as the aid body has urged the international community to come to the Ebola-stricken African state.

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Although the outbreak began in Guinea, Sierra Leone has now recorded the highest number of Ebola cases with 646, and the second-highest number of fatalities. The outbreak has so far killed close to 1,000 across four African countries.

“The situation is grave right across the region. We are strongly urging the international community to focus its efforts on strengthening state institutions and cross-border coordination, but Sierra Leone requires particular attention to prevent the situation from becoming even more drastic there,” said GOAL’s Darren Hanniffy, who will be leading the GOAL team.

“The government and the ministry of health in Sierra Leone are doing everything they can, but this problem is now beyond them in some locations. Lack of education about Ebola remains the single biggest issue in Sierra Leone. It is clear to everyone responding to the crisis there that we must continue to educate people about the virus.”

“We are still finding that communities are shutting out assistance because of fear and chasing away health outreach staff, while others are trying to remove family members suspected of having Ebola from isolation wards, or attempting to recover bodies of Ebola victims. All this poses a serious contagion risk to others. However, we know that we can stop the spread of Ebola if we can reach communities and improve their understanding of the disease”

Mr Hanniffy was speaking following the announcement by Irish Aid of vital funding to help GOAL raise awareness of the transmission and prevention of the disease in Sierra Leone. GOAL has launched an emergency appeal and is seeking public support for its efforts.  To donate to GOAL, visit www.goal.ie.

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