ELoH pledges £9,817 for emergency appeal, and mourns loss of lead Doctor in Liberia
Today, ELoH announced that we are providing emergency funding of £9,817 to support vital Ebola relief and prevention efforts in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where our two major projects to support child amputees operate.
£7,717 is being donated from ELoH’s main funds to support its 147 beneficiaries in Sierra Leone. £2,100 has been earmarked for ELoH’s 40 beneficiaries in Liberia – drawn from funds held with ELoH’s project partner Street Child, which were raised from founders Sarah Hope and Victoria Bacon running the London Marathon earlier this year.
The donation to ELoH’s main partner in the region, Street Child, follows news from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the deadly virus has now killed 2,400 people in West Africa. Half of these deaths happened in the last month alone, as national Governments lack the basic infrastructure, logistical capacity, professional expertise and financial resources to effectively address the disease. The WHO has warned that the number of Ebola cases could rise to 20,000 before the outbreak is contained, whilst global medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has damned the global response to Ebola as “lethally inadequate.” Several international aid agencies have withdrawn staff from the region, due to the risk to their safety.
ELoH has also been devastated to hear of the death of one of its lead project Doctors in Liberia, Dr Abraham Borbor, the Deputy Chief Medical Doctor at Liberia’s main medical institution, the JFK Medical Centre in Monrovia. Dr Borbor succumbed to the disease on the 25th August, sending shockwavesacross the country, as the second senior doctor in the hospital to die from the disease.
Dr Borbor was the only recorded Doctor of Internal Medicine in Liberia, and was instrumental in the establishment of ELoH’s new project to support 40 vulnerable child amputees in the Capital, Monrovia. ELoH’s Rebecca Newsom and Isabelle Trick worked with Dr Borbor in June this year to develop an agreement between the charity and JFK Hospital for ELoH’s beneficiaries to be provided with surgery and prosthetic fittings for their amputations. Rebecca Newsom said: “Dr Borbor’s death comes as a great shock to ELoH, and he will be sorely missed by the whole team. He was a very impressive man and played a crucial role in setting up our new project. Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this time.”
ELoH’s funding, targeted specifically at the charity’s 187 beneficiaries, their families and communities across both countries, will directly help tackle the crisis of a lack of public education about the disease and how to prevent it, as well as providing vital sanitisation equipment to ensure the virus doesn’t spread. Specifically, this involves:
- Providing education about Ebola and how to prevent it, along with a chlorine sanitation kit for all our beneficiaries, their families and their immediate communities – equivalent to 18,700 people – to last for three and a half weeks
- These funds will also be used flexibly in cases of emergency, to provide food & other vital relief to any crisis-hit amputee households, as a matter of priority
Victoria Bacon and Sarah Hope, founders of ELoH, issued a joint statement:
“This vital donation will help ensure our beneficiaries remain safe at a time of grave danger in both Sierra Leone and Liberia. ELoH’s normal project work has inevitably been delayed by this lethal outbreak, but we are confident that today’s donation will go a long way in mitigating deaths and helping to prevent the disease from spreading.
“We are immensely grateful to the Street Child teams on the ground, who are working tirelessly to protect everyone we’re helping. Further donations from our dedicated supporters would be hugely valued, so we can get back to business as usual, as soon as possible.”
In response to ELoH’s donation, Kelfa Kargbo, head of Street Child of Sierra Leone said:
“We are so grateful for ELoH’s support and concern for the wellbeing of our teams and beneficiaries. The situation is not getting any better at the moment, and people are really dying because of the lack of basic facts about the virus.”
John Bull, head of Street Child of Liberia said:
“Sometimes we do not feel like going out due to the dreadfulness of this disease. However, we have a watchword that always propels us into daily action, which is “doing your best for the purpose.” This has been the backbone of our work that has brought us this far. Thank you ever so much for your unwavering support and concern for us at such a time. This will go a mighty long way in addressing the needs of ELoH’s beneficiaries.”