Ebola. Where Did It Go?
Back in 2014-2016 there was a widespread Ebola outbreak in western and central Africa.
The virus was first discovered in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring an ‘International Health Emergency’ in August 2014.
Soon after, a British nurse contracted the virus which sparked hysteria in the British press with Ebola then being discovered in Nigeria before an entirely new strain of the virus reared its head in The Democratic Republic Of Congo.
A month later, in September the then President of the United States, Barack Obama, committed 3000 troops to West Africa in an effort to contain Ebola’s spread.
Two weeks later it reached the US.
It was a frightening time.
Slowly but surely the spread of the outbreak slowed due to the efforts of countless, dedicated health workers (many of them volunteers) and hefty resources from across the globe.
The outbreak was finally brought ‘under control’ in January 2016 when West Africa was declared ‘Ebola free’ but the cost was great.
Throughout the outbreak the WHO reported 28,616 cases of Ebola. 11,310 people died. It was later described as the “largest, most severe and most complex Ebola epidemic” in history.
Case closed. Thank goodness that’s over.
But is it?
The Democratic Republic of Congo is huge, almost the size of western Europe.
At the edges of its vast eastern jungle, where densely populated frontier towns border Rwanda and lake Kivu, Ebola is back.
As of August 12th the WHO have reported 2,837 Ebola cases with 1,898 deaths. That’s a 67% death rate.
The need is great, the time is now.
Our partner organisations BOAD (Bureau Œcuménique d’Appui au Développement) and CBCA (Communauté Baptiste au Centre de l’Afrique) are in the region and working in north Kivu to support four villages which are at significant risk of infection.
It’s vital, often invisible work but it’s happening right now.
If you’re able, please consider supporting our Ebola Outbreak appeal. If you can’t give then please pray for our partners - that they are guided and energised in the task before them.