Category: News

Red Cross Ebola nurse: ‘I’m no hero, I’m just doing my job’

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©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

Tackling Ebola on the front line is an emotional experience, but I’m glad I’m here, writes British Red Cross nurse Marjorie Lee.

Am I a hero? Not for one minute. I’m just somebody helping somebody else. And people here in Sierra Leone, as in Guinea and Liberia, need our help.

I arrived two weeks ago. The first thing that strikes you is how incredibly friendly people are. Everyone you pass says “hello” or “how are you?”

The manager of our hotel in Freetown kept thanking me for coming. He hasn’t left the hotel compound in weeks, he’s too afraid to go out. He sends people out on errands to get him things.

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Finding and monitoring Ebola infections – video

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In this video, a Liberian Red Cross volunteer talks about her work in monitoring relatives and neighbours of Ebola victims.

On average, one person infected with Ebola infects two other people. The disease is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, or indirectly through contact with contaminated areas, such as soiled clothing or bed linen.

It’s vital to trace the movements of those infected with Ebola to find people who may have contracted the disease from them.

The next step is to monitor people who might have Ebola over a period of 21 days – the disease’s incubation period – to see if anyone develops symptoms.

Across Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the Red Cross has traced more than 50,000 people at risk of contracting the disease.

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Typhoon Haiyan – building homes in the Philippines

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©PhilippineRedCross

One year on from Typhoon Haiyan, the Red Cross is making a real difference in the lives of people devastated by the storm.

Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall, killed 6,300 people and left more than four million people homeless.

Some 1.14 million houses were damaged and 16 million people were affected.

Now the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is helping communities recover.

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Ebola outbreak: victims are more than just a statistic

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©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

Francesca Ginnett has just returned from Sierra Leone where she was tasked with making sure essential supplies reached health workers and volunteers fighting Ebola. This is her take on the last month.

So, how was it?

This is the question I keep getting asked. A simple ‘interesting’ or ‘tough’ won’t suffice, but I don’t know how to summarise the last month in a few words.

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Five steps to stop Ebola – in pictures

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©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed nearly 5,000 lives since March. The Red Cross has been tackling the outbreak since the outset.

These striking images from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, show Red Cross workers on the ground fighting the disease and the people they are trying to help.

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

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

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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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South Sudan crisis: what childhood is this?

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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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