International

Fighting Ebola: “I’ve never experienced anything like this”

p-SLE0632Ebola has claimed nearly 5,000 lives across Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The outbreak is getting worse. John Punter, from Bristol, has been in Sierra Leone for two months. The 59-year-old describes his experience of fighting Ebola and how we can stop the spread of the deadly disease.

Before coming to Sierra Leone, my eldest son asked me: “Do you know what you’re getting yourself into?”

If truth be told, I didn’t – no one did. Worse still, it has taken the world even longer to wake up to the grim reality of this Ebola outbreak.

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Tackling Ebola: facts and figures

Ebola stats October 2014

Over 4,000 volunteers are working to:

  • dispel rumours or cultural misconceptions of the disease
  • treat patients at a health centre near Kenema, Sierra Leone
  • bury bodies safely and respectfully
  • highlight the importance of seeking early treatment
  • tackle stigma.

You can support their work to stop the spread of this disease by donating to our Ebola Outbreak Appeal

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Ebola myths put lives in danger

IMG_2280Internet rumours claim the Red Cross is deliberately giving Ebola to people in West Africa. This is not true.

Every day, Red Cross staff and volunteers – most of whom are from the countries affected by the outbreak – risk their lives to help prevent the spread of the disease. Their only focus is fighting a virus that has caused thousands of deaths and placed many more people in danger. More

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

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

Ebola-survivors-blog.II

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.

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

©NRCS

©NRCS

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.

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