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Ebola Update 050115

We would like to this opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to everyone who supported and donated towards the Ebola Campaign.

Together with your generous donations and loyal patronisation the HOTRIC Charity Shop raised £401.99.


Ebola Update 281214

The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that reported cases were fluctuating in Guinea and decreasing in Liberia, and that there were “signs” that the increase in incidence had slowed in Sierra Leone although, the agency added, the country’s west was “now experiencing the most intense transmission in the affected countries.”

Against that backdrop, the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) reported that a fourth staff member had tested positive for Ebola. Two of the affected mission personnel died of the disease three months ago, while another member of UNMIL’s personnel who contracted the disease has recovered and was discharged from hospital this week.

Karin Landgren, UNMIL’s chief, said in a statement that Liberians could be proud of the progress they had made in fighting the disease but urged them to “take extra care as they gather with friends and families over the holidays,” especially in light of the newly reported infection.

“The confirmation of this new case is a stark reminder that we must all remain vigilant until there are no cases in Liberia or West Africa,” her statement continued. “The mission is taking all necessary measures to mitigate any possible further transmission – both within the mission and beyond.”

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £371.01.

Ebola Update 221214

“Burials and funerals are deeply, deeply ingrained in Sierra Leone,” said Austin Demby, a Sierra Leonean-American epidemiologist. He is the director of a U.S. government AIDS program but has been helping with Ebola containment. Officials have even threatened to jail people – once it’s clear they have not caught the disease – who prepare the corpses of their loved ones. Old ways are hard to break, though. Funerals are important social occasions in the three most-affected countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. People often travel great distances to attend and bodies are typically washed and dressed by relatives or friends. Unfortunately, these practices are the perfect breeding ground for Ebola, according the International Federation of the Red Cross. The bodies of Ebola victims can be up to 10 times more infectious than those of people living with the disease, the aid group said.

Spending cuts imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola in three West African states, UK-based researchers say. It had led to “under-funded, insufficiently staffed, and poorly prepared health systems” in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, they said. The IMF denied the allegation. The deadliest Ebola outbreak ever has so far killed more than 7,300 people, mostly in the three states. “A major reason why the Ebola outbreak spread so rapidly was the weakness of healthcare systems in the region, and it would be unfortunate if underlying causes were overlooked,” said Cambridge University sociologist and lead study author Alexander Kentikelenis.

A Sierra Leone government spokesman says Freetown is pleased with the cooperation of citizens after a ban on all public celebrations during Christmas began in a bid to contain Ebola. The police, army and other security agencies have been deployed to enforce the nationwide policy. “So far we are very satisfied in the sense [that] we are having absolute cooperation throughout the country, particularly in the western area. And part of the reason accounting for that is people in the western area where we are having the highest spike of cases are just too tired and fed up with the general condemnation from the rest of the country,” said government spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay.

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £347.35.

Ebola Update 151214

Health officials in Sierra Leone have reportedly discovered scores of bodies in a remote diamond-mining area of the eastern district of Kono, raising fears that the scale of the Ebola outbreak may be underreported. Sierra Leone has overtaken neighbouring Liberia as the country with the highest number of Ebola cases, the latest World Health Organization figures suggest. Sierra Leone is banning public Christmas celebrations to help reduce the spread of the Ebola virus.

A government spokesman told reporters that all public celebrations would be banned starting December 20, five days before the holiday. However, the government order will not bar people from attending church on Christmas. The spokesman, Abdulai Bayraytay, said the measure was aimed at reducing physical contact among people in public in order to slow transmission of the virus.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) today recommended that creditors should seriously consider debt cancellation for the countries worst-hit by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and also projected that even if those most affected were to register zero economic growth, the impact on Africa as a continent would be minimal.

“Educational systems, rising social stigma, unemployment, and decreased food security are some of the big issues that Ebola-affected countries must deal with,” according to study on the Socio-Economic Impacts of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on Africa released today by the Addis-Ababa based UN regional forum.

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £291.71.

Ebola Update 081214

Dr. Michael Mawanda saw some disturbing behaviours when he was in Sierra Leone helping fight the Ebola epidemic, including relatives removing patients from the hospital where he worked. “Naturally what happens is that as more and more people get infected, people learn lessons. Unfortunately, that takes a long time,” Dr. Mawanda, a 38-year-old Ugandan physician, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The Ebola outbreak, which is stabilizing in Liberia and Guinea, is spreading fastest in Sierra Leone. In a recent 21-day period, Guinea had 306 new Ebola cases. Liberia had 278. Sierra Leone had 1,455, according to the World Health Organization.

Dr. Mawanda believes that clinging to dangerous practices is the reason why. So does Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, who on Tuesday urged Sierra Leoneans to desist from washing of corpses. Unsafe burials are believed responsible for 70 per cent of new infections in Sierra Leone, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo told reporters Wednesday. The bodies of people who have died from Ebola are particularly contagious and must be handled carefully, but throughout the region, many people continue to bury their dead using traditional methods, including washing and touching the body. Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person or corpse.

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £235.99.

Ebola Update 011214

New data shows the Ebola outbreak intensifying in Sierra Leone, even as it stabilizes or drops off in other West African countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Sierra Leone reported 537 new confirmed cases in the week ending November 30, a jump of more than 150 over the week before. The WHO says “transmission remains persistent and intense across the country with the exception of the south.”

The worst affected area was the capital, Freetown, where more than 200 new cases were reported. The number of Ebola cases worldwide is more than 17,000, with all but a few dozen in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. The WHO’s report says the outbreak has largely stabilized in Guinea, which reported 77 new cases last week, and in Liberia, which reported 43.

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £177.65.

Ebola Update 24.11.14

Knowing where the Ebola hot spots are in a country is crucial to getting an outbreak quickly under control. Many have criticised the initial slow response to the West Africa outbreak, saying it’s a big reason the virus quickly spread. Now, a German research centre is developing a project to monitor Ebola – called EBOKON – uses real-time monitoring to better manage outbreaks in real time.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday 21st November that by continuing to scale up the global fight against Ebola, there is hope the outbreak could be contained by mid-2015, but he emphasised that results to date are still uneven, and announced that the Organisation’s top health officials will head to Mali, where the situation is still a cause of “deep concern”, which has had six fatal cases of the virus in recent weeks.

Sierra Leone, where there is a shortage of treatment facilities, is the leading edge of the epidemic right now. In the last 17 days, infections increased by 30% to more than 6,000 cases and more than 1,200 deaths, WHO reported. In the same time frame, infections jumped 18% in Guinea and 8.5% in Liberia. Overall, more than 5,400 have died from the virus across West Africa. The mayor of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, Franklin Bode Gibson, prepares new cemetery at Allentown to hold more 7,000 spaces for burials.

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £148.25.

Ebola Update 18.11.14

Ten new Ebola Community Care Centers built by UNICEF, are due to open in Sierra Leone’s Bombali district as part of a new drive to bring Ebola care closer to communities. UNICEF are planning to build around 30 more centers in neighbouring districts in the coming weeks.

Liberia is slowly coming out of Ebola as emergency centers are being shut down.

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £105.95.

Ebola Update 10.11.14

Top African business leaders have reportedly established an emergency fund to help countries hit by the Ebola outbreak. A pledging meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised $28.5m to deploy at least 1,000 health workers to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Ebola donations raised through HOTRIC Charity Shop to date are: £57.00.