News Africa

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Liberians pack into churches despite Ebola warnings

Clair MacDougall

Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30

  • Share
A Nigerian health official wearing a protective suit waits to screen passengers at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Nigerian authorities on Monday confirmed a second case of Ebola in Africa's most populous country, an alarming setback as officials across the region battle to stop the spread of a disease that has killed more than 700 people. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
A Nigerian health official wearing a protective suit waits to screen passengers at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. AP
A  health worker wearing protective clothing and equipment, out of fear for the  deadly Ebola virus, sits at a desk at the Kenema Government Hospital situated in the Eastern Province in Kenema, 300 kilometers, (186 miles) from the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone.  AP
A health worker wearing protective clothing and equipment, out of fear for the deadly Ebola virus, sits at a desk at the Kenema Government Hospital situated in the Eastern Province in Kenema, 300 kilometers, (186 miles) from the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone. AP

Liberians packed churches in the capital of Monrovia yesterday to seek solace from an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, defying official warnings to avoid public gatherings to try to contain an epidemic that has killed nearly 1,000 people in west Africa.

  • Share
  • Go To

With its creaking healthcare system overrun, Liberia declared a state of emergency to tackle the highly-contagious and incurable disease, which has also stricken Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

People still flocked to sing and pray in churches in the ramshackle ocean-front capital, many of them comparing Ebola to the brutal civil war that ravaged the country between 1989 and 2003, killing nearly a quarter of a million people.

"Everyone is so afraid," said Martee Jones Seator at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church. "Ebola is not going to shake our faith in any way... because we've been through difficult times."

The World Health Organisation has said that the world's worst outbreak of Ebola will likely continue for months, as the region's healthcare systems struggle to cope, and it has appealed for funding and emergency medical staff.

Irish Independent

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in World News