Africare In the News

Liberia Ends State of Emergency

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ended Liberia’s three-month-long state of emergency on Thursday, November 13. Certain restrictions such as a midnight curfew will remain, and the President was careful to affirm that the fight against Ebola is not over. However, the government feels the situation has improved enough for progress to continue while food and merchandise markets re-open and schools prepare to re-open as well (NY Times). Particularly in rural areas, resurgences of the virus have occurred and could potentially continue (ABC News), meaning that despite progress, much vigilance and effort will still be needed.

More Cases in Mali

Despite impressive efforts to contain an initial Ebola outbreak in the country that resulted in one death (NY Times), Mali saw its second Ebola outbreak, resulting in three more deaths and the quarantine of several buildings in an attempt to contain transmission (CDC, NY Times).

Ebola’s Consequences

In addition to direct suffering and death, Ebola is causing serious knock-on effects in the affected West African nations. UNICEF estimates that there are now as many as 7,000 orphans in Sierra Leone, forced to either fend for themselves or rely on siblings or extended family (The Guardian). Also, the paralyses of local markets and food availability shortages have resulted in approximately 200,000 people becoming food-insecure, and the World Food Programme predicts anywhere from 750,000 to 1.4 million will become food-insecure by March 2015 because of Ebola (WFP)

U.S. Government and Corporate Response

Framing his request in terms of U.S. national health interest, President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve $6.18 billion to contain Ebola, which includes $4.5 billion for immediate response and $1.5 billion for a contingency fund. Of the total funding, it appears the majority will be devoted to efforts within the United States, with USAID and the Department of state sharing about $2.9 billion for efforts in West Africa (NBC News).

Google and Facebook, two businesses with enormous audiences, have also launched campaigns to raise funds for Ebola response (TIME, BBC)

Cases, Deaths and Locations

The number of Ebola deaths has surpassed 5,000. As of November 12 the totals, including cases in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States, stand at 14,098 cases with 5,160 deaths (CDC).

Uganda has surpassed the threshold of 42 days with no new cases, and the World Health Organization confirmed the is country free of the Marburg virus, a disease similar to Ebola (News24)

Sustained commitment is required for the affected countries to maintain any progress they have achieved, and even when this outbreak ends, continued efforts will be necessary to address Ebola’s wider consequences and strengthen health systems to prevent future outbreaks. Help West Africans win their fight against Ebola by giving now.