At this point I can safely assume that everyone has heard of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) that is out of control in Western African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and with a few cases of infected people in several other African, European countries and the United States of America.
As I read news from around the world I can’t stop feeling that there must be something I could be doing. I know I don’t have the qualifications or the experience to go fight this on the front line or even in the hospitals and between you and me, I’m glad I can’t go because I would be terrified.
Fortunately for all of us there are people brave enough to face this horrible threat and there is something that we, the “ordinary” people, can do to help.
Here I compiled a list of all the non-governmental organisations currently in the affected Western African countries that are helping the governments and locals deal with this epidemic.
Here’s what YOU can do:
- Donate to the organisation(s) of your choice (see list below).
- Send them an e-mail thanking them for their effort.
- See if any of your local organisations are helping with the cause and volunteer.
- Create petitions and/or contact your local representative to request their help to send funds, material or food to countries struggling.
- Raise awareness by sharing this list.
List of non-governmental organisations currently helping Ebola afflicted countries:
What they do: “Your donation can help to provide medical supplies, protective gear and sanitation materials and food aid, to those most in need.”
What they do: “ADRA is delivering life-saving supplies to hospitals in West Africa to help stop the spread of Ebola. Our latest shipment to Cooper Adventist Hospital in Liberia included nearly $100,000 worth of necessities, including crucial isolation tents. A shipment of similar resources has also just gone to Waterloo Adventist Hospital in Sierra Leone.”
What they do: “Africare is providing emergency medical supplies and educating communities on how they can keep themselves safe from the virus.”
What they do: “AmeriCares is sending emergency medical aid to Sierra Leone and Liberia, including personal protective equipment for health workers at great risk in the battle to contain the deadly disease.”
What they do: “BBF has sent “
What they do: “Concern Worldwide is responding in Liberia and Sierra Leone with the following: (…) Support of health structures including health staff trainings on ebola symptoms and prevention. Provision of personal protective equipment to health facilities.”
What they do: “More than 100 CDC staff have been deployed in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone assisting with various vital response efforts such as surveillance, contact tracing, database management, and health education.”
Name: Develop Africa
What they do: “We are working to help provide the needed protective equipment / resources to health personnel so that they can keep themselves safe and preventing further spread of the disease. Funds will also enable sharing of information / sensitization (through radio and other media) so that people can take preventive action to protect themselves from infection. We are also providing health kits and emergency food aid.”
Name: Direct Relief
What they do: “Direct Relief has sent twelve emergency shipments valued at more than $6.8 million dollars to more than 1,000 hospitals and clinics in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The shipment contents includes rehydration solutions, antibiotics and personal protective gear for use by medical staff treating Ebola.”
Name: Doctors of the World
What they do: “In Liberia, Doctors of the World are training local health workers to identify and treat suspected cases, as well as providing medications and essential protective equipment. In Sierra Leone, Doctors of the World are supporting the efforts of local communities and healthcare authorities to prevent Ebola’s transmission in the Koinadugu district, in the north of the country.”
What they do: “An Italian charity, Emergency has opened in September a Treatment Centre for Ebola patients in Lakka, a few kilometres from the capital of Sierra Leone. “
What they do: “The Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting awareness-raising efforts and providing food supplies in addition to personal protection equipment and disinfectants to under-resourced hospitals and clinics in the affected areas of Liberia and Sierra Leone.”
Name: Giving Children Hope
What they do: “GCH has sent two shipments of supplies already and will continue to do so with your help. Items that are most need that GCHope is sending include, gloves, soap, sanitation supplies, cleaning supplies and other relief items.”
Name: Global Communities
What they do: “Your gift helps us teach communities on the history, signs and symptoms, transmission mode, and devastating impact of the Ebola outbreak and train and support burial teams in all 15 counties in Liberia.”
Name: Global Health Ministries
What they do: “In close communication with the Ministry of Health in Liberia, the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL), and our partner hospitals in Liberia, the GHM is responding to the Ebola virus outbreak by sending urgently needed PPEs (personal protection equipment – gloves, gowns, masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, etc.) via suitcases, air freight, and sea containers.”
What they do: “Funds will be used for medical supplies to care for those already infected, protective equipment to keep health workers safe, and educational campaigns to inform the public about Ebola and how it spreads.”
What they do: “Heart to Heart International will open and operate an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia. The facility is already under construction and is expected to open in November. We are recruiting doctors and medical personnel to help us, as well recruiting Liberian health workers to operate the 70-bed facility. We will also continue to ship supplies like protective suits and gloves to help the the hands of health workers on the ground in the Ebola hot zone. “
What they do: “IMC is operating the Ebola Treatment Unit in Bong, Liberia which is currently comprised of 70 beds with more than 200 specially-trained staff, and a 50-bed unit in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, with sites for a laboratory and an expansion area for a training center and staff accommodation.”
What they do: “The International Rescue Commitee is saving lives by training and protecting medical workers; preventing people from catching Ebola with “alert” systems, contact tracing and community awareness; and providing medical care to people with treatable diseases who would otherwise die because they are afraid to visit health centers.”
Name: MAP International
What they do: “In March, MAP International began providing protective gear to healthcare workers on the ground in West Africa.”
What they do: “MSH is mobilizing its expertise and resources at the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia to help the Ministry of Health develop community care centers for Ebola separate from the health facilities; “
What they do: “MSF’s West Africa Ebola response started in March 2014 and now counts activities in three countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. MSF currently employs 276 international and around 2,977 locally hired staff in the region. The organisation operates six Ebola case management centers (CMCs), providing nearly 600 beds in isolation. Since the beginning of the outbreak, MSF has admitted more than 4,500 patients, among whom more than 2,700 were confirmed as having Ebola. Around 1,000 have survived. More than 807 tonnes of supplies have been shipped to the affected countries since March.”
What they do: “MTI is training in the basics of Ebola and how to protect themselves from infection and sending shipments of Personal Protective Equipment kits (PPEs), gloves and body bags to Liberia.”
What they do: “Through the generous donations of our individual, hospital, and corporate partners, we are continuing to add life-saving supplies and protective clothing items – disposable gowns, gloves, operating room caps, shoe covers, and masks - to our special air shipments and 40-foot containers headed to West Africa.“
Name: Operation USA
What they do: “Operation USA is taking action to help combat the further spread of Ebola by providing material aid support to those on the front lines battling the outbreak. If you or someone you know works for a corporation who can provide any of these materials new, in bulk, contact us.”
What they do: “Life-saving meals were packed to be sent to Ebola patients in Liberia. 300,000 meals were shipped from Outreach’s warehouse on September 18. The second shipment of 300,000 meals will leave on October 9. Two additional container shipments of 300,000 meals will be sent prior to Christmas.”
Name: Oxfam America
What they do: “Oxfam’s response to the epidemic is focused on prevention by providing water infrastructure to health centers, training health workers and supplying protective gear like masks, overalls, gloves, and boots, as well as equipment like sprayers and mops.”
Name: Partners in Health
What they do: “Partners In Health is leading a coalition to combat this outbreak, working alongside two outstanding grassroots organizations—Last Mile Health in Liberia and Wellbody Alliance in Sierra Leone. These long time PIH partners are already working to train health workers, identify sick patients, and deliver quality care.”
What they do: “PCI is responding to the crisis by equipping communities and health professionals with the knowledge, infrastructure, and supplies necessary to prevent the spread of Ebola. Specifically, PCI is actively providing critical help by expanding community education campaigns; training health care providers; constructing infrastructure for the isolation of suspected cases; and providing personal protective equipment and sanitation necessities to minimize the spread of the virus.”
Name: Project HOPE
What they do: “Project HOPE delivers essential medicines and supplies, health expertise and medical training to respond to disaster, prevent disease, promote wellness and save lives around the globe.”
Name: Samaritan’s Purse
What they do: “Samaritan’s Purse is aggressively responding in Liberia, where we have had a country office for more than a decade, by establishing and managing Community Care Centers in areas hit hard by the disease. Other Samaritan’s Purse public health initiatives in the country include caregiver training and kit distribution, as well as a massive public education campaign focused on infection prevention and control.”
Name: Stop Hunger Now
What they do: “Stop Hunger Now is shipping a container of meals and and donated medical personal protection equipment to Liberia as part of relief operations in response to the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.”
What they do: “Gifts will not only help us treat and prevent ebola but will also help us continue to train local villagers to serve as public health workers who can stop the spread of the virus in their own community.”
What they do: “In Liberia, UNICEF is helping the government train 400 additional mental health and social workers. A total of 50,000 kits will be shipped for distribution to the five counties with the highest rates of Ebola. Each kit contains protective gowns, gloves and masks, as well as soap, chlorine and a sprayer, along with instructions on the use and safe disposal of materials.”
Name: World Food Program USA
What they do: “WFP is providing life-saving food assistance to quarantined communities that have been cut off from markets and serving as the logistics leader for the UN by utilizing its delivery expertise to transport medical supplies and basic infrastructure, including tents, warehouses and prefabricated offices.”
Name: World Hope International
What they do: “WHI has 76 staff and 9 trucks. We are using this resource to distribute airlifted medical supplies to hospitals and clinics. We are also providing borehole water wells and sanitation facilities for Ebola treatment centers using our experienced Water and Sanitation team.”