The MENTOR Initiative in the Telegraph (see video)
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has reached crisis levels with over 8, 900 cases to date and is still spreading. Ebola disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids and material contaminated with bodily fluids. Early symptoms are flu-like, followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, a rash and external and internal bleeding.
There is no proven cure and at present there is a 70% case fatality rate in the current epidemic. Intravenous rehydration and intensive care can help recovery but neither are readily available within the weak health systems of the countries most affected.
The Ebola crisis has hit Liberia the hardest with already over 2000 cases reported. The country is now faced with a collapsing health system caused by the loss of many healthcare workers to Ebola and the refusal of others to work for fear of infection. Some of the biggest challenges to slowing the spread of the disease are educating communities in how to reduce the risk of transmission, including safe burial practices and improving surveillance methods. Simon Mardel, writing in the Lancet Global Health blog, explains how the breakdown of traditional surveillance methods are at the heart of the epidemic.
With case numbers still rising, urgent action is essential to continue helping the countries most affected to fight this deadly disease. MENTOR is expanding its emergency reponse in Liberia. This emergency response will use Community Health Volunteers to equip communities to reduce Ebola transmission risk. It also aims to restore access to primary level treatment services for malaria and other diseases.
Our analysis of the situation is detailed in this blog:
The rationale for this networked approach is detailed in the following blog:
To learn more about Liberia ...
Conflict in Central African Republic
Central African Republic has been devastated by conflict and population displacement as the Seleka rebel alliance takes control of the country, with chaos ensuing across towns and villages.
The MENTOR Initiative is continuing to provide emergency disease control assistance to some of the worst affected communities, and is assessing new needs on the ground.
to read more about our work in CAR...