On Sunday October 5, 2014 Founder of Hands For Africa, Mr. Alton Harding and Marketing/Development Director, Ms. Jenny Davidson, had the privilege of hearing first-hand the recent work Dr. Dan Kelly, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist of UC San Francisco, on the epidemic of the Ebola outbreak. Dr. Kelly alongside co-founderMohamed Bailor Barrie, M.B.Ch.B., founded a non-profit, The Wellbody Alliance Clinic (www.wellbodyalliance.org) in Sierra Leone. The partnership between The Wellbody Alliance and Hands For Africa came about in the common interest to serve Sierra Leoneans with the highest quality of healthcare possible. Amputee survivors from the Blood-Diamond Civil War did not have access to the healthcare they needed, so Hands For Africa became an advocate and The Wellbody Alliance Clinic became a refuge. Together today we continue to save lives and restore hope.
Dr. Kelly, without hesitation, upon receiving the news of the death of a friend and colleague due to Ebola in August, booked a flight within 48 hours to West Africa and immediately responded to the call of combating Ebola. He shared first-hand insight on the devastation of Ebola; over 6,000 people are infected, over 3,000 people dead. “What I was seeing first-hand when I was in these Ebola isolation wards… I was seeing patients that were sitting across the room from somebody dying and curled up in a ball … and there for days, while their blood results were coming back … ultimately negative, and going back to the community and saying it was a horrible, HORRIBLE experience.”
Ebola is infecting people of all social backgrounds, it is not just infecting poor people, but rich people, people with an educated background, everyone. For every 20 days, Dr. Kelly and his team is seeing an exponential growth of Ebola. At the rate of its growth, there is very little ground support. There is a plea for more boots on the ground as Dr. Kelly reiterates, “we need to respond with a community based response and create a continuum of care.” The response to this epidemic has been slow and therefore services to treat Ebola have been delayed causing its spread outside the borders of Africa.
Why is Ebola a global threat? Dr. Kelly’s response verbatim: “Sierra Leone is just coming out of a civil war, their healthcare system is dysfunctional, by the time we realized there was Ebola in Sierra Leone, we were dealing with Ebola cases all throughout West Africa, so size was an issue. We were also very slow to respond and just the chronicity of this outbreak really made it widespread before we were able to react. It was really hard to control via traditional healthcare measures. So chronicity was also an issue, and then finally that it was in multiple cities and it was really hard to just track people down and try to find contacts of patients. In summary we are dealing with a fragile healthcare system as a root cause of this problem, we are looking at an unparallel situation where the size, the lacking response, the chronicity there, and urbanization are key factors in this outbreak growing to partial pandemic portions and becoming more and more like a global threat.”
So what is the appropriate response to this Ebola Outbreak? In a recent report, 1.4 million infections are expected by mid January 2015. Dr. Kelly believes that if we implement appropriate preventive measures that we will not see 1.4 million infections. Rather, Dr. Kelly proposes a 70% rule. “If we can get 70% of patients infected by Ebola into treatment units then we can affectively stop this epidemic, we can solve this crisis.” How do we get 70% of infected patients in treatment centers? “How do we get 70% in treatment centers? Especially when were dealing with places people feel force to go and die in. And nobody wants to be surrounded by white people in space suits and isolated from their families and scared.” Dr. Kelly is pleading for the same preventive measures as Director of CDC (Center for Disease and Control Prevention), Dr. Tom Frieden, “laboratories, trained public health staff, tracking systems, emergency response, and an infection control” (Oct 09, 2014 01:21 PM Video from Health ABC News).
So what is the call to action? “We need to act now, because this is a crisis situation, if we don’t, the crisis is going to get bigger, more expensive to clean up, and we’re going to see more infections here in America.”
Help #Stopebola NOW at www.handsforafrica.org
by Jenny Davidson
Hands For Africa & Wellbody Alliance Clinic Working Together to Combat #StopEbola
by Oneill Taylor
Ebola is a deadly virus that started in the 1970’s and has claimed over 5000 lives since its inception, mostly in West Africa. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids such as: blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen of an infected person showing symptoms. The incubation period is between 2-21 days, so sometimes an infected individual might not show symptoms until 21 days later. This virus has a 50% fatality rate with victims that are infected; therefore, it is almost a death sentence to contract the virus. Ebola has been a problem for West Africa, but now it is at your doorstep.
Thomas Eric Duncan, the first victim infected with Ebola in America just lost his life to the deadly virus. Mr. Duncan contracted the virus in Liberia and traveled to Texas on September 19th. He started showing symptoms on September 24th, and went to a Dallas hospital for treatment September 26th. He was released with antibiotics and returned two days later diagnosed with the deadly virus. His family couldn’t watch the effect Ebola had on Mr. Duncan. Mr. Duncan went through the typical blood clots and blood vessels becoming enflamed that made it very difficult for family members to look at. The airplane that Mr. Duncan travelled with is currently not at risk, because he did not show his symptoms during his time of traveling, but Mr. Duncan’s family is now at risk of being infected with the Ebola virus and they are currently being quarantined. Over one dozen people are being tested for the virus because of just one victim, and tests cannot be confirmed for another 21 days. If Mr. Duncan went to any public facility and released any bodily fluids by touch, then those exposed are also at risk of contracting Ebola. CDC has now confirmed that this incident in Texas is not isolated and urgent aid is needed to combat this virus.
The CDC has announced that Public Health is a sector that governments underinvest in, and the current costs could’ve have been just 1% of what they are now to combat the disease; if proper prevention methods were applied from the start, such high costs could’ve been prevented. The CDC is now begging the governments and people of all nations to get involved to help combat this deadly disease. The CDC also mentioned that there is a new case in Australia and also in South Africa. The issue is that infected victims are traveling to other countries prior to showing symptoms and then becoming extremely ill in that other country. The reality is that Ebola can show up anywhere. If one infected Ebola victim travelled to Los Angeles, or any other city, and decided to get Starbucks; then any thing or anyone he touches will contract the virus. The worst part is the infected victims might not find out until 21 days later; therefore, any individual they came in contact with during the incubation period of 2-21 days becomes at risk of contracting the virus. Ebola is not a West African problem anymore. It is a world problem, and it is at our doorstep. Please help combat this deadly virus by donating to www.handsforafrica.org. Your donation will help save lives and stop the spread.
The largest Ebola outbreak in history has devastated Western Africa. Over 1200 have so far been infected and over 600 have lost their lives to the horrific disease.
We at Hands for Africa need your help in order to stop the spread of this deadly epidemic. We are currently working on providing emergency funds to the country of Sierra Leone. Don’t let another life go to waste. Donate below:
The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “we’ve always done it this way.”
(taken from this post on the experiments of Harry Harlow)
This is serious business, because this is a large part of how sexism, racism, homophobia, rape culture, ethnocentrism, etc. continue to happen.
Looking over the trending posts on Tumblr, Twitter and reading/watching the news it is clear to see that so many people are missing the point here. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. Please, stop making your number one priority the fact that it could spread to western countries. Are they more deserving of our…
A doctor trained in Fort Worth, Texas, is now a victim of the Ebola outbreak he was battling.
Kent Brantly, 33, had been caring for Ebola patients in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, for several months when he noticed he had symptoms of the deadly virus last Wednesday.
He immediately put himself into an isolation ward.
"He is still conversing and is in isolation. But he is seriously ill with a very grave prognosis," says Dr. David McRay, of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, who spoke to Brantly by phone on Monday.
"Kent is a calm, confident, focused individual, with a deep calling for the work that he’s doing," McRay says.
After Brantly completed his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in 2013, he traveled to West Africa with his wife and two children to work with the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse.
Then the Ebola outbreak started in March. Samaritan’s Purse asked Brantly to direct the group’s Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia.
Since then, about 1,200 people have fallen ill with Ebola, and more than 670 have died across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There’s no treatment for the disease, which spreads when people come into direct contact with bodily fluids, such as saliva, blood, diarrhea and vomit.
Brantly knew providing health care in Liberia would be challenging — and that was even before the Ebola epidemic. But caring for people in need, his friends say, was always what he wanted to do.
Photo: Medical workers treat Ebola patients at the Eternal Love Winning Africa hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Three workers at the hospital, including Dr. Kent Brantly (left), have tested positive for Ebola.(Courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse)
Important Things About the Ebola Outbreak
- You’re not hearing enough about it because it’s happening in Africa. Plain and simple. Western Media (of which I was once a naive member) does not consider the deaths of non-whites and non-Westerners as important, so while this disease kills, it isn’t killing the right people to get enough attention.
- With that said, officials have made it clear that they think there’s no chance the disease could spread outside of Africa, and definitely not to the United States.
- That’s bullshit, in my opinion. I’ve spent a lot of time researching disease transmission, viruses, etc., both professionally and in my spare time. It may not spread, but they can’t know that at this stage. It’s the largest outbreak of Ebola EVER. There are already hundreds dead, and the number is growing.
- "Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases.The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients." [x]
- There is no cure and no vaccine, and most people are not educated on protecting themselves from this disease.
- Don’t freak out, but we should all be paying attention.
The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has devastated Western Africa. Over the past few weeks, more than 500 civilians have died, and many more have been quarantined.