We've not beaten Ebola yet

Posted on: Thursday, 30th July, 2015
CBM together with UMC speaking to group of people about safety measure against Ebola in Sierra Leone.

education continues as new cases identified

"17 months after the start of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, cases are still being identified, highlighting the need for continued education and prevention measures to protect people with disabilities from this devastating disease.

In October, CBM launched an appeal to ensure that people with disabilities could access life-saving information about Ebola in Sierra Leone, one of the countries most affected. Working with our partner West African Medical Mission and local Disabled People’s Organisaions, CBM has produced disability-accessible information materials about how to prevent the spread of Ebola, reaching more than 140,000 people with disabilities, their family and carers.

The last 17 months, since the first Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in March 2014, have become the deadliest in the disease’s history. It has left a profound effect on the social, economic, and political structures of the affected countries, primarily Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. More than 11,000 people have been killed. Despite a decline in cases in recent months, there has been a sudden rise in new infections in the capital Freetown.

Ebola outreach activities by CBM partner UMC eye Hospital (Kissy Eye Hospital) in Tombo, Sierra Leone.

Public education campaigns have been a crucial part of tackling Ebola but unless information materials are accessible to people with disabilities, they are unable to protect themselves from the disease. It is estimated that over half a million people in Sierra Leone live with a disability making it imperative that preventative information about EVD is circulated in an inclusive way.

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive of CBM UK said “Education is essential to protect people from Ebola Virus Disease and when simple steps like hand washing can save lives, this needs to be circulated properly. People with disabilities are easily marginalised and can miss out on vital information during emergencies. That is why CBM UK’s inclusive response is so important. Thanks to our supporters, co-ordination with the Sierra Leone Government and partnership with WAMM, a significant impact has been made for people with disabilities experiencing the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. Thank you for your continued support at this significant time.”"

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