16.09.14

As Ebola Death Toll Rises, Plan Ireland Escalates Response

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“Reports from Liberia say Situation Now “Worse than War”

The death toll from West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has now risen to more than 2,400 the World Health Organisation has said, with the true number of fatalities thought to be much greater.

As the death toll rises, children’s humanitarian agency, Plan Ireland is intensifying its response across the worst hit countries. It has now joined forces with the medical relief organisation, International Medical Corp to provide a comprehensive package of life saving services to stop Ebola in its tracks.

In Liberia, the worst hit country, which is bracing itself for thousands of new cases in the coming weeks, people have described the situation as being “worse than a war zone” with “news of deaths and starvation from every quarter of Liberia.”

Plan Ireland CEO, David Dalton said;

“Tragically, the announcement today that the death toll from Ebola has surpassed 2,400 is no great surprise. The fear is that without a stronger, more co-ordinated response, the number of fatalities could rise exponentially. This is why Plan Ireland is escalating its response by teaming up with a leader in global health and emergency response to stop this killer virus in its tracks.

 Every day, families are losing loved ones and children are at risk of death or being orphaned. But something can be done. For instance, for as little as €25, a hygiene kit for 25 families will mean children can wash and disinfect, €29 will mean that 100 people have a secure hand washing facility while €49 can provide a protective suit for staff working in treatments centres

 The countries battling Ebola are among the poorest in the world and the public health systems across West Africa are fragile. The impacted countries desperately need financial and technical assistance to avoid a catastrophic situation.”

lan Liberia Country Director Koala Oumarou said:

“With weak health systems and a fast spreading virus, this outbreak is one step ahead of the under resourced response to combat it. People have told us that the current situation, is worse than a war zone and they are in a state of fear with news of more deaths from every corner of Liberia.

To combat the outbreak, actions are needed at different levels. Preventive work through public health promotion, care and treatment units, psychological care, information dissemination and rebuilding public health systems.”

Since the outbreak, Plan has been responding by disseminating public health information and providing material support to contain the spread of the disease.  We have also trained volunteers to disinfect public and household latrines, treated the homes of suspected cases, and set up hand washing systems in schools and public areas.