The decision by the Irish Government to provide €600,000 and emergency supplies to tackle the Ebola crisis is West Africa is a positive development as the virus continues to take a devastating toll on West Africa.
Children’s development agency, Plan Ireland is responding to the outbreak across the three worst hit countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone). Plan Ireland is also deploying an emergency response specialist to Sierra Leone in the coming days.
The funding comes as the death toll rises to over 2,500 and Sierra Leone ends a three day lockdown with authorities claiming to have identified dozens of new infections and located additional bodies.
Speaking from West Africa, Plan Ireland’s Damien Queally said;
Today’s announcement of funding and emergency supplies is a welcome step. As well as the ever present threat of contracting the killer virus, basic food items and commodities are now also running dangerously low.
With borders closed, traders are unable to bring food from one to country to another, causing prices to spiral beyond the reach of many poor people.
Restrictions on people’s movements and the establishment of quarantine zones to contain the spread of Ebola have led to panic buying, food shortages and price hikes. Supplies of food are running so low in that citizens fear many could die of hunger if the Ebola virus is not contained soon.”
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.
Plan Ireland CEO, David Dalton said;
“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.
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.
With a stronger, more co-ordinated response, we can stop Ebola in its tracks.”
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