Since the first case of Ebola in Sierra Leone in May, the disease has claimed more than 350 lives in Sierra Leone and over 1,000 across the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Guinea.
The Rainbow Family has been working in Sierra Leone since 2007 and supports over 300 children, all of whom have been confirmed safe and well. Muslim Aid is working with two long-standing local partners who are carrying out education and community awareness-raising activities in response to the current outbreak. Muslim Aid is also working to establish a partnership with Global Medic, a Canadian INGO previously engaged during the Cholera outbreak in 2012, in order to provide medical assistance in collaboration with our local partners.
The prevention of the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone is proving difficult in a country which has already suffered economically due to civil war in the 90s and whose resources are drained by malaria treatment. According to the World Health Organization, Sierra Leone has just 2.2 doctors for every 100,000 people (in comparison to 279 in the UK) and had some 1.5 million confirmed and probable cases of malaria in 2012, from an overall population of about 6 million. In addition, there are many myths about the source and spread of Ebola. Health promotion teams are vital to provide education and advice to combat the spread of the disease.