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Don Bosco Matadi - Monrovia

Home for the young

14th November 2014: From ANS

(ANS - Monrovia) - The campaign of awareness, information and prevention to combat the spread of Ebola infection is bearing fruit. In the past few days the number of reported cases of infection was slightly lower, at least in Liberia. The tension however, remains high.

by Fr Nicholas Ciarapica, SDB


A few days ago the Salesian parish in the district of Matadi lost one of its members, a lady who had greeted a friend who had come to her house to ask for help because she did not feel well. She had not said that she had contracted hemorrhagic fever. They both died within a few days. Now not only is her family in isolation, but the whole community and the district are under observation.


Through the financial support of benefactors, including the Rector Major, the Salesians and young people have gone from house to house and contacted over 5,000 people from the neighbourhood. They have passed on information and given prevention material and means. They distributed 500 bags of rice and 5,000 litres of oil to families and communities in isolation or quarantine and to families in need.


The results of the intervention of the Western countries is beginning to be felt.  France is taking care of Guinea, England and Ireland are helping in Sierra Leone and the United States in Liberia. We are building more centres for people infected and providing more beds. Unfortunately it seems that the help is not yet enough. Above all there is a shortage of doctors, health care workers and equipment to run the centres.


According to data from 2012, there are 370 doctors per 100,000 inhabitants in Spain, 245 in the USA, just over two in Sierra Leone, just over one in Liberia, and just one in Guinea. The World Health Organization estimates that Liberia needs about 3,000 beds for the treatment of Ebola, but its current capacity is only 620.  There is need for a lot of training for those who offer health services for the prevention and control of infections. There is  need for qualified centres that provide early diagnosis, isolation, treatment of the infection, including the safe handling of body fluids and the bodies of victims. There is also need for  psychological assistance to Ebola survivors and their relatives.


The Church is at the forefront of work on this issue, training staff and medical doctors in its seven medical centres, and is planning to reopen as soon as possible the Catholic hospital closed last July and to provide adequate materials and instruments.


In October the Salesian parish had a high level of participation in the sacraments. More than 100 people attend morning Mass after which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration. The rosary is recited every evening with about 150 parishioners taking part.


Published 14/11/2014





13th December, 2014 by don Nicola Ciarapica





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