As the Ebola virus kills more than 670 people and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warns the virus poses a threat to the UK, ActionAid staff working to contain the virus in West Africa, as well as London-based experts are available for interview.
ActionAid can talk on the following Ebola outbreak response measures
- Why closing borders in West Africa and screening air passengers may help, but the best way to contain Ebola remains tackling the virus at source. This includes tackling the fear at the heart of the epidemic.
- How our aid workers in Liberia and Sierra Leone are telling us that people are not seeking help if they suspect they have contracted the disease, but are staying home to pray.
- How the high death rates associated with Ebola create fear and lack of faith in the medical system. Treatment and care of those infected remains essential, but preventative measures to limit the spread of the disease locally are vitally important.
- Our work with local, trusted volunteers, to distribute Government and World Health Organisation information in local languages, using flyers, radio jingles and door-to-door visits, to help people understand how to protect themselves.
ActionAid Sierra Leone is running an urgent awareness raising project in Kono and Bo. Government approved health messages are being disseminated in the form of flyers, radio jingles and door to door visits. This work is also being rolled out in Liberia starting this week.
In West Africa, ActionAid works to provide healthcare, safe childbirth practices and clean water and lobbies governments to change the policies and practices that affect the lives of poor people. We also work with communities to create opportunities for young people to mix and develop business skills for the future.