Appeals

Ebola outbreak: “I don’t let patients give up”

©IFRC/JariLindholm

©IFRC/JariLindholm

“My nickname is Happy Shower,” smiles Jestina Boyle, a Red Cross volunteer at the Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, eastern Sierra Leone.

Jestina provides psychological and emotional support, particularly to patients at the centre.

Through Jestina’s encouragement and counselling skills, more patients are going through the so-called ‘happy shower’.

More

Spike in Sierra Leone Ebola cases “very worrying”

©IFRC/JariLindholm

©IFRC/JariLindholm

A spike in Ebola cases in Kono district, Sierra Leone, has served as a warning that the outbreak is far from under control. Nearly 90 bodies have been found in the district in recent weeks.

The Red Cross had already begun building an Ebola treatment centre in Kono. It will become the Red Cross’ second treatment centre in Sierra Leone, alongside the 60-bed centre in Kenema.

Norwegian Erik Lundblad, deputy team leader at the new Ebola treatment centre in Kono, explains how the Red Cross is responding to the spike in cases.

More

Ebola outbreak: the surreal journey home

©IFRC/JariLindholm

©IFRC/JariLindholm

British Red Cross Ebola nurse Marjorie Lee has returned home to Scotland after one month of treating patients in Sierra Leone. It has been a difficult four weeks, but the 51-year-old wants to go back as soon as possible.

It feels surreal to be slipping back into normal life with all the preparations going on around me for Christmas.

Everything seems so far removed from the challenges facing the people I’ve just left in Sierra Leone. Christmas, I’m sure, is the last thing on their minds.

More

Giving warmth this winter: Photos from Syria

© SARC

© SARC

Millions of people in Syria have been forced to flee their homes. As winter closes in, many are living without fuel or electricity in temporary shelters, without proper protection from the weather.

In the city of Hama, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has been giving people essential supplies to help them survive the winter.

Families are picking up thermal blankets, mattresses and mats – which can be used to insulate the floor of wherever they are sheltering.

In October alone the Hama branch gave out 25,000 blankets, 5,000 mattresses, and 6,000 mats. Its staff and volunteers have also helped to repair housing, protecting families from the cold.

Get a glimpse of this work in our quick photo gallery. More

Ebola: ‘Nothing can prepare you for the look in a patient’s eyes’

©IFRC/JariLindholm

©IFRC/JariLindholm

There’s no such thing as a good day when you’re treating Ebola patients, writes Sarah Robinson, a Red Cross nurse working in our Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone. 

Whenever I get home from the Ebola treatment centre (ETC), one of the team members will always ask how my day was. I’m never sure how to answer.

Working in an ETC doesn’t seem to be a job where you can say you had a great day or an awful day. I love my job immensely; the national staff I work with and the patients I care for are all inspiring. I’ve learnt so much from them and I know I will continue to do so.

The multitude of daily challenges we experience make the job interesting and varied. Despite this, when the reply, “I had a good day” enters my mind, the words always stick in my throat.

More

South Sudan crisis – staring into the abyss  

©ICRC/JacobZocherman

©ICRC/JacobZocherman

South Sudan continues to slip under the radar. The crisis in the world’s newest nation doesn’t generate the headlines that emanate from Syria, Iraq or the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, yet there are vast humanitarian needs in South Sudan.

It is one year since conflict erupted in the country. More than one million people have fled their homes. So why is the world so silent?

More