Health

After the Ice Bucket Challenge: where do genius fundraising ideas come from?

Ice-Bucket-ChallengeBLOGFundraising is a famously imprecise science. And as the past week has shown, sometimes the best ideas come from the grassroots, oddballs – or even mistakes.

Listen closely.

That faint, buzzing noise you can (almost)] hear is the whirring of thousands of professional fundraising brains, each trying to come up with the next blockbuster idea. More

West Africa Ebola outbreak – preserving life after death  

IMG_2345Ebola has no sympathy. In life, it causes untold suffering; in death, it robs you of your dignity.

Where normally the deceased in West Africa could expect a traditional burial, Ebola has denied them that privilege.

Those who have succumbed to Ebola, remain infectious. Instead of a funeral attended by friends and family, theirs is now a discreet burial carried out by men in white overalls wearing masks. They’re buried in body bags, not one, but two.

It’s a morbid task, one that is being carried out by teams of Red Cross workers.

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‘’I was ready to die – but Rebecca brought the whole world back to me’

Kathy Malcolm and Rebecca OwenBLOGFor Kathy, it seemed like things would never get better again.

She had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Her kidney failure, due to diabetes, meant dialysis treatment three times a week. She was slowly going blind. And to cap it all, she could no longer maintain her lovely big home.

The 64-year-old, from Llandudno, recalled: “I was at my lowest point – I was basically ready to die.” More

Ebola virus disease explained: Q&A

©IFRC/IdrissaSoumare

©IFRC/IdrissaSoumare

An outbreak of Ebola has left more than 450 people dead in West Africa. The Red Cross, along with other humanitarian agencies, is working to stop the spread of the deadly and highly contagious disease.

What is the Ebola virus?

Ebola virus disease is a severe and often fatal illness – outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Outbreaks occur predominately in remote villages in Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests.

The first incidence of Ebola was in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks: in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo close to the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The origin of the virus is unknown. This is the first time the disease has appeared in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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Who pays for your wheelchair?

WHHEL_OF_FORTUNE_600x337If you come a cropper and need a wheelchair, your best bet is to either get injured just a little or quite a lot. Confused? You should be.

Here are three interesting health facts you probably don’t know:

1. If you twist your ankle or get a small mobility injury, hospitals in the UK have to provide you with a ‘minor aid’ – such as crutches or a walking frame.

2. If you have a serious illness or injury that will mean long-term use of a wheelchair, hospitals are similarly obliged to provide the equipment. But…

3. If you need a wheelchair for a ‘short-term’ ailment (officially, anything lasting less than six months), then good luck. No official body has any responsibility to help.

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Ebola, snakes and witchcraft: stopping the deadly disease in its tracks

In an effort to curb the spread of Ebola in Guinea, volunteers are managing the dead bodies

©IFRC/IdrissaSoumaré

They call him by his surname, Konneh. His manners are gentle and his voice calm. He’s a volunteer with the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, always willing to help.

The 21-year-old lives in Kenema, one of the largest cities in Sierra Leone. It’s a two-hour drive from his hometown of Daru, in the eastern district of Kailahun, which has been most affected by the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

As of 16 June, there were 92 confirmed cases of Ebola and 44 deaths in Kailahun, according to the World Health Organisation, while several cases have also been confirmed in the west of the country.  

Konneh’s aunt and uncle, from Daru, both died from the disease.  

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Coping as a full-time carer

Angela Brown, who used the Red Cross carers' service, smiles in a garden with a cup of teaDuring Carers’ Week, Angela Brown discusses the challenges of being a carer and explains how her local Red Cross service supported her when she needed it most.

Angela Brown remembers the moment she knew something was wrong. In 2005 she was sitting in the garden with her husband John. He turned to her and asked when his mother was coming home. His mother had been dead for 30 years.

John was soon diagnosed with dementia. More

Home is where the volunteer is

Peter-Toplis-BLOGThousands of people struggle to cope at home each year. But a new report shows how the British Red Cross helps many to move on with their lives.

After a stroke left him housebound and isolated, Peter Toplis was at a real low ebb.

Most of his old friends had moved on over the years, so the 60-year-old was stuck alone most of the time.

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