Friends of Liberia (FOL) with the help of its members and other supporters has contributed $20,000 to two groups working on the Ebola crisis in Liberia. We continue to receive contributions, which will go directly to groups working in the affected areas. The situation is changing daily and we rely on the U.S. Embassy and the Government of Liberia to confirm which groups are giving assistance and where.
Last weekend, FOL members joined others in the Minneapolis area to pack pallets of personal protective equipment with the Global Health Ministries. The shipment, which was sent by air, is destined for Phebe Hospital in Bong County and Curran Lutheran Hospital in Lofa County. The protective equipment, which consists of hazmat suits with hoods and boots and disinfectant, is scheduled to arrive at Roberts International Airport within the week. Numerous reports from Liberia have cited protective equipment as essential to keeping health workers safe and hospitals open.
Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders, or MSF, reports the situation in the Liberian capital is “catastrophic,” according to Lindis Hurum, MSF emergency coordinator in Liberia. There are reports of at least 40 health workers being infected with Ebola over recent weeks.
MSF teams are providing technical support for an Ebola case management center in Monrovia in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, and they have started construction of a new case management center. An MSF team based in Guékédou, Guinea, has recently launched a response in Liberia’s Lofa region, alongside the Guinean border, which has been badly affected by Ebola.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared a 90-day state of emergency, which has closed schools, discouraged large gatherings, and brought government services to a minimum. Many hospitals were temporarily closed while health workers were trained in the proper procedures for handling possible victims. Liberians are already feeling the economic effects of the medical crisis.
“People are dying from common diseases because the health care system is collapsing,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan said in an interview with Thomson Reuters
Foundation last week. “It is going to have a long-term impact, even after this crisis
is behind us.”
Treatable diseases such as malaria and diarrhea are left untended because frightened Liberians are shunning medical centers, and these deaths could outstrip those from the Ebola virus by three
or four fold, he said.
Meanwhile, FOL continues to monitor news reports and is in contact with several people who are on the front lines of the medical crisis. Several members attended a special town hall meeting in Washington D.C. Aug. 6 to hear Vice President Joseph N. Boakai Sr. brief the Liberian community and friends about the efforts the government is making to contain Ebola.
If you wish to make a personal donation to FOL for the serious health crisis in Liberia, please send a check to:
FOL Treasurer, Pete Murdza
P.O. Box 164
Etna, NH 03750
Marie and James Beebe have donated 9 framed and matted watercolor prints of various Liberian scenes by artist, Gustaf Roland Svensson. The Beebes bought the prints when they lived and worked in Liberia and have donated them to help FOL raise funds for our various projects. Follow the link above for more information about the prints.
FOL Mentoring Program
The first group of post-war Peace Corps Volunteers has left Liberia to return to the States. In order to offer them assistance settling in back home, FOL is instituting a Mentor Program. Read More
A survey was recently taken by Friends of Liberia (FOL) to determine the path of the organization for the next several years. The results can be seen here. FOL Survey Results
Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States of America (USA), His Excellency Jeremiah C. Sulunteh and his wife, meet with, FOL Board Members at a reception following the presentation of the Ambassdor’s credentials to President Obama. Read more
Final version of the FOL strategic plan adopted by the Board at its March 9 meeting. Read the new report