Most lethal strain of Ebola spreads in West Africa

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by Katie Pace           images

MAP International has launched an emergency response to support its teams and partners in West Africa following the rapidly moving Ebola outbreak. To date, officials are reporting 122 deaths in Guinea. Cases have also been reported in Mali, Sierra Leone and Ghana.

MAP International’s response includes providing infectious disease protection suits and supplies to protect those treating the infected in West Africa. The first shipment is being airlifted and will arrive in Liberia April 14.

Many of the deaths are themselves healthcare workers trying to save the lives of those in need. “Ebola is virulent and fast. MAP International seeks to preserve the lives of those treating others and follow our long standing mission of ‘Serving the Servants’ by providing immediate aid to healthcare workers,” says Mark Mosely, MAP International’s Vice-President of Global Essential Medicines, Supplies and Services (GEMS).

Zeela Zaizay, MAP’s Liberia Country Director is on the ground reporting the following: “The Ebola outbreak was reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) along with Guinean Health Authorities on March 24, 2014. The current strain in Guinea has been described as the most lethal strain of Ebola and it is spreading rapidly to other parts of the country.

According to the WHO, the outbreak began in the southeastern part of the country, a forest region along the border of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Over 34% of the positive cases reported in Guinea are healthcare workers. This calls for serious attention to the need to protect healthcare workers as the major population is already at high risk. Ironically the defenders have become the victims.

“The Liberian Ministry of Health announced on March 31, 2014 that the rapidly spreading Ebola outbreak had crossed into Liberia and there are now many suspected cases and one fatality. As of April 9, 2014, the Liberian Ministry of Health has quarantined several people and reported 21 cases, including 10 deaths. They are encouraging people to report any suspected cases as well as observe strict personal hygiene practices to mitigate the spread of this highly fatal and untreatable disease.

“In my purview, drawing from the fatal experiences of healthcare workers in Guinea, much is needed to protect healthcare workers in Liberia. The Liberian Ministry of Health is requesting personal infectious disease protective suits and gear for healthcare workers – and MAP International will meet this need in
order to control the outbreak. “With Ebola, prevention is not just better than a cure — it is the only option.”

MAP is in need of financial support to assist with the rapid delivery of these critically needed supplies.
You can support MAP’s efforts to fight this Ebola outbreak by going to www.map.org/ebola.

MAP International is a global Christian health organization that partners with people living in conditions of poverty to save lives and build healthier families and communities. Known for its 99% efficiency rating, MAP
provides medicines, prevents disease and promotes health to create real hope and lasting change. The organization operates through offices in the United States, Ecuador, Bolivia, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya and through partnerships in more than 100 countries every year.

Please pray for the people of West Africa, the healthcare workers, those who minister to the diseased, and the organizations like MAP and WHO to help combat this deadly disease.–Christian Newswire