Tackling Ebola: the Red Cross in numbers

Stats accurate on 14 October

Stats accurate on 14 October

Red Cross staff and volunteers are working in very difficult conditions to stop the spread of Ebola.

Red Cross volunteers from the affected countries are visiting households in their own communities, going from door-to-door to make sure people know what Ebola is, how it can be contracted and how it can be treated.

Donate to the Ebola Outbreak Appeal


Surviving Ebola: Red Cross discharges first two patients from Sierra Leone treatment centre


Osman and Kadiatu, pictured centre, holding their discharge papers

When the Red Cross opened a treatment centre recently in Sierra Leone, Osman Sesay was the second confirmed Ebola patient to arrive.

When he crossed the threshold of the Kenema centre, he was listless and lethargic, with the glazed-over look of someone infected with the deadly disease.

Over the course of the past two weeks, Osman watched 11 fellow patients being taken for burial in the newly-dug cemetery, while he continued to grow stronger. He interacted with staff more, he moved more, he began asking for more food.


Nepal’s solar-powered blood bank will save lives after deadly earthquakes



How will a ground-breaking blood bank, made from shipping containers and using solar panels, save lives after earthquakes in Nepal?

Nepal’s capital Kathmandu is at high risk of being devastated by a major earthquake. Such a disaster could injure more than 300,000 people, and leave more than a million homeless.

This year the Nepalese Red Cross Society is building an innovative new blood bank with help from the British Red Cross, as part of a huge project helping the city and its people prepare for earthquakes. It will collect and store blood from the day it opens, ensuring a supply is available the second a disaster happens. More

South Sudan crisis: what childhood is this?

South-Sudan-SB-blog-IIISouth Sudan is mired in conflict. The daily realities of life in the world’s newest nation are hard to comprehend. In this blog, Seema Biswas, a field surgeon with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), shares her experiences of working in South Sudan.

This time a fortnight ago, I was waiting anxiously for a helicopter that had been despatched to take me and my colleagues back to Juba from the field.

We were leaving three days late as the rainy season makes some airstrips impassable. We waited quietly, surrounded by children sporting football shirts from around the world, as the helicopter refuelled.

I wondered whether one day I would watch one of these children wearing his own shirt and playing for South Sudan on TV.


West Africa Ebola outbreak: new health centre in pictures


A new Ebola treatment centre has been opened by the Red Cross in one of the worst affected areas in Sierra Leone.

The centre, on the outskirts of Kenema city, received its first patients within hours of opening on 15 September. Among them was an 11-year-old girl.


Art from the past: the foot cast that marks a historical fight to ban landmines

Plaster foot 2

Every month, we dust off a piece of art from the British Red Cross collection to give it the attention it deserves. Our piece this month could be an ordinary keepsake – except for the missing foot.  

The artwork – Feet – was made in the late 1990s, at a time when nearly a quarter of war casualties were landmine victims. It is a simple but moving piece – with a crutch mark pressed into the plaster where a right foot should be.

Mike Whitwam, then director general of the British Red Cross, called the ongoing situation a “humanitarian tragedy”.

He added: “Anti-personnel mines indiscriminately maim and kill 2,000 people a month around the world.” More

Syria: knitting, sewing and weaving an independent life

A woman holds a heart-shaped frame

© Ibrahim Malla/IFRC

How can making a scarf, belt or bag help someone stand on their own feet? Just ask the women learning craft skills at a project in Dwailaa, Syria. The sessions let them support their families and escape some of the pressures of daily life.

All the women have been affected by the country’s crisis. Some have had to flee their homes elsewhere in Syria. Most were struggling to cope, emotionally and financially, when they started the sessions.

Three teachers at the Syrian Arab Red Crescent project pass on skills in knitting, weaving and other crafts, so the women are able to make items for sale. The hours spent learning and creating are also therapeutic, and follow on from sessions where the women are able to talk about the problems they face.

Amal, one of the women taking part, says: “when I have been here, my family say I return home with a smile on my face, I am much happier.” More