Connecting local responses around the world
This morning when I googled "local response" + "ebola", here's some of the headlines I found:
Nurse's visit spurs Ohio Ebola fears
Florida: County and hospitals prepare for Ebola
As KU Hospital tests patient with Ebola-like symptoms, Lawrence agencies coordinate response
Denton City Council to be briefed on virus response
Ohio residents fear Ebola precautions could prompt panic (What's up Ohio?)
Not exactly what I was looking for. With all this drummed-up fear and stereotypes and prejudice flying around, I guess it's easy for Americans to miss that Nigeria has been declared ebola-free, as was Senegal on Friday. And it's easy to miss stories of people fighting the disease, like survivor Alhassan Kemokai in Sierra Leone who caught it while caring for his ailing mother, independent ambulance workers in Monrovia, or 6-year-old Patrick Poopel (pictured right, photo: Morgana Wingard / MSF) whose smile who the only thing left that is infectious. Nursing student Fatu Kekula saved her father, mother and sister by inventing her ow.... Apparently international aid workers heard are now teaching her "trash bag method" and to others who can't get into hospitals. This is more of what I was looking for, but these stories are unfortunately often hard to find. So I thought I'd share a few others on the local response to Ebola that I've been collecting since the outbreak hit the international media - please share any others in the comments:
Liberian Ebola Survivors Return to Help the Sick, by Heidi Vogt
Is Ebola in West Africa a "crisis of governance" or "the ugly face of a global aid system that is broken"? These questions are an abstraction to those who are facing sickness and suffering this very day.
Malonga Miatudila, MD, who was part of the first team that dealt with Ebola first in 1976, describes how they contained the disease without the knowledge we have today: "Engage with communities. Give them the leadership of the fight...International experts are there to support local communities, and not to substitute."
If you want to give to local efforts, see GlobalGiving's page. Unfortunately this Indiegogo campaign by 5 grassroots organizations in Sierra Leone didn't meet their goal, but you can still be in contact with them directly via email.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ~Fred Rogers
Look for the helpers. Reach out. Invest in those that are there for their communities, whether funding is available or not.
This post originally appeared on how-matters.org.