“It is only the grace of God that is keeping us.”
Alexandria, VA, Sept. 19, 2014 – According to the CDC, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has taken the lives of 2,630 people in recent months, including 562 in Sierra Leone alone, and fear grows as the death toll continues to rise.
Bread and Water for Africa® has been doing all it can this summer to provide a measure of relief to those suffering with the symptoms of the deadly virus by shipping medicines to treat the sick, as well as providing Tyvek suits to protect health care workers.
Bethelhem Tessema, Executive Director of Bread and Water for Africa®, said that so far the organization has shipped more than $700,000 in medicines, providing $20,000 in emergency food aid, as well as 800 personal protection kits containing a full-body Tyvek coverall, mask with visor, and latex gloves to its partner organization Faith Healing Development Organization in Sierra Leone.
But more needs to be done. In fact, just today it was reported in The New York Times that the country has begun a three-day national lockdown – ordering people off the streets and into their homes in an effort to stamp out the deadly disease.
And Bread and Water for Africa® needs your help today to continue our mission to not only stop the spread of the virus to others, but to treat the symptoms of those who have contracted Ebola and ease their suffering as we pray for their recovery.
In Sierra Leone, one of the hardest hit areas of the outbreak, Tessema explained that Bread and Water for Africa® is working with the Faith Healing Development Organization to help prevent the spread of the virus there.
“They are literally putting their own lives on the line to save Ebola victims,” Tessema said of the Faith Healing Development Organization workers on the front line in the clinics it operates in Sierra Leone. “The least we can do is provide them with the proper supplies to help prevent them from ending up contracting the virus themselves.”
Tessema also knows that while there is no known cure at present, and many are tragically dying on a daily basis, there are also many of those who survive.
“While we can’t provide a cure to those who have contracted the disease, we can help ease their suffering by providing medications and emergency food supplies to aid those who thankfully do recover,” Tessema said.
In Sierra Leone, Faith Healing Development Organization director and founder Rev. Francis Mambu said that the support his organization has received so far from Bread and Water for Africa® and its supporters from across the United States and around the world has literally been a godsend.
“People are falling dead in the in the street,” Mambu said. “The death rate is really increasing even in the city.”
As bad as it seems, the reports coming out of West Africa are not telling the full story, according to Mambu, who is witnessing the tragedy unfold first-hand.
“The information from the government with regards to the number of people infected with the virus and the total number of deaths is far from reality,” said Mambu, who just lost a cousin of his to Ebola who was working as a nurse in the Kenema District of the country.
“In fact, on that particular day, about 25 people died at the Ebola Treatment Centre in the Kenema District,” Mambu said. “Almost all of the districts are now affected with the Ebola virus.”
And it’s not just the rural districts of Sierra Leone that have been hard hit.
“In Freetown, the virus is spread all over the city and is not in just one place which makes the situation more dangerous and fearful,” Mambu said.
Those who are not ill are also facing challenges related to the Ebola outbreak as, according to Mambu, the capital city will run out of its stock of rice in two weeks’ time if ships continue to refuse to come into Freetown’s port.
“Local food stuffs are not affordable at all,” Mambu said. “The prices of basic commodities continue to soar and the people are living in chronic hunger.”
“The economy is going down and the reopening of schools has been postponed indefinitely,” Mambu said. “The country is almost coming to a standstill.”
“It is only the grace of God that is keeping us,” Mambu said.
Mambu asked Americans to continue to pray for them.
“The supplies we have received are truly a blessing from God,” Mambu said. “We are so thankful for the much-needed assistance we have received from caring people who have been expressing their sincere concern for the people in distress here in Sierra Leone and West Africa.”
So, as we can take a measure of comfort here in the fact that Ebola has not spread to the shores of America, we hope you will remember those who are not so fortunate, the thousands of those afflicted with the virus and the many thousands more who have lost loved ones and live in terror that they will contract it.
Thank you for your contribution in what Rev. Mambu describes as “a blessing from God” in a time of despair for so many.