Tag Archives: Liberia

Ebola wipes out every mother in Liberian village

 

In Joeblow, Liberia, every mother has been killed by Ebola leaving a village full of confused and devastated children

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

11:35AM GMT 05 Jan 2015

For 11-year-old Montgomery Philip, childhood is over. Six months ago he would have been playing football with his schoolmates, but now his job is to care for his 10-monthold baby brother Jenkie. The pair are both victims of the Ebola virus. Not because they caught the disease, but because they live in Joeblow, Liberia, where the devastating outbreak has killed every mother in the village.

The women died because social convention decrees it is they who tend to the sick and bury the dead.

When a man brought Ebola to the village and passed it on to his wife, it was 14 mothers who cared for her and eventually laid out her body. One by one they caught the disease and died, leaving 15 children orphaned.

Chloe Brett, 28, from Norwich, has been working with the British charity Street Child to try to find homes for the children left behind in the aftermath of the outbreak.

“Seeing Montgomery struggle to change the baby’s nappy without any guidance is something that made me realise just how devastating this disease can be on those left behind,” she said. “He was a helpless 11-year-old having to become a man well before his time.

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“Although it feels like Liberia is coming out of the end of the crisis, it is now dealing with the aftermath, and what it has left behind is huge groups of children who are on their own. When we visited Joeblow, it seemed normal at first, with children in the street, men, a couple of old women. But then we realised there were no other women anywhere.

“We talked to a man who had survived Ebola and he told us what had happened.

All of the women had caught the disease.

“It’s now a village of no mothers and very confused children with blank looks on their faces.”

Nearly 7,000 people have died from Ebola and more than 18,000 have caught the disease, mainly in West Africa. Liberia has been hit the hardest, with 3,290 deaths so far compared with 2,085 in Sierra Leone and 1,525 in Guinea.

Street Child been working in Liberia to find homes for orphaned children over the past five years, but the Ebola crisis has made the situation far worse.

The charity estimates that the disease has left 30,000 orphans in West Africa. So far, it has helped 8,000 find new homes with relations or neighbours. Many children are being looked after in two shelters in the country’s capital, Monrovia.

Children with sick parents also need to be quarantined for 21 days to make sure they have not contracted the illness.

The orphans are placed in groups of three, but if a child starts to show symptoms of Ebola, they are isolated immediately – a terrifying prospect for a youngster who has just lost their parents.

According to Unicef, just 800 children have been resettled in Liberia to date.

“The future for these children is bleak if they do not find new homes,” added Miss Brett, who is the Liberia programme director at Street Child.

“I saw Montgomery carrying his 10-month-old brother – that is life for him now. He won’t be able to go back to school if he is looking after his brother.

“All the children wear rags because all their clothes and possessions have had to be burnt as a precaution because of the disease.

“We try to find relatives or neighbours to take the children in, but the community is scared.

“We went to one slum where every home had been affected. Every door we knocked on, we found more children who needed homes.”

Chloe Brett has been working to find homes for children left behind in the aftermath of the outbreak

Miss Brett has come across households in the back streets of Monrovia where children have been sleeping with the dead body of their father for three days.

Neighbours had turned away the youngsters, fearing they could be infected.

Many simply cannot afford to feed another mouth. Ebola has caused the price of rice to increase by at least 20 per cent in Monrovia, and in some locations it has almost doubled.

Tom Dannatt, Street Child’s chief executive, said: “Thirty thousand children in West Africa will have spent this Christmas mourning the loss of a mother or father as a result of Ebola.

“They want for the most basic of human needs while the majority of us in the UK have been enjoying indulgence and celebration.”

He added: “I have no doubt that aid from larger organisations is coming, but there is an immediate need which we at Street Child can meet right now. We just need the financial support.

“On my last trip to Sierra Leone in November, when I spent time with Street Child teams visiting some of the hardest-hit communities, I learnt three things.

“Firstly, we know about Western aid and medical Ebola heroes, but the heroism of so many Sierra Leoneans at community level is inspiring – and underreported. We should invest more in these people.

“Secondly, the medical and military effort is impressive, but the pure humanitarian aid response appears to have hardly begun.

“Thirdly, not enough Sierra Leoneans know ‘enough’ about Ebola – especially in the most rural and poorest places.”

“Montgomery looks after his brother now. That is his life”.

Visit street-child.co.uk/ebolaresponse for more information

Report: First U.S. Ebola patient is a foreign national

 

 

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the first case of Ebola in the United States has been diagnosed, and the patient is currently being treated in an isolation unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. The man remains in critical condition at this time.

On September 19, the patient boarded a plane in Liberia and arrived in the U.S. the next day.

CDC Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters:

[The patient] had no symptoms when departing Liberia or entering this country. But four or five days later on the 24th of September, he began to develop symptoms. The next steps are basically threefold. First, to care for the patient … to provide the most effective care possible as safely as possible to keep to an absolute minimum the likelihood or possibility that anyone would become affected, and second, to maximize the chances that the patient might recover.

The man who was in Texas reportedly visiting relatives, actually came to the emergency room on the 26th, but was given antibiotics and released. He was admitted two days later as his condition worsened.

On Wednesday morning, Fox & Friends anchor, Peter Doocy, reported that the man is a “Liberian national.” Of course, Liberia is currently in the grips of an unprecedented Ebola outbreak, in which at least 1,830 people have died from the virus over the last few months, according to a CDC report.

While the CDC is quick to downplay the risk of a widespread Ebola outbreak on U.S. soil, it is not known how many people this patient came into contact with since landing in Dallas, and is likely impossible to discover. It also unknown at this time why the Obama administration has not banned all travel from Liberia, as well as the other countries in West Africa where Ebola is ravaging the populations.

U.S. airports currently have no system in place to screen travelers for Ebola.

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The Ebola Conspiracy Theory Chronicles By Zora Neale Firston

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August 5, 2014 – I’m sure many of you have stumbled across a couple of these “Ebola Conspiracy Theory” conversations floating around African Diaspora social media circles. We have factions of folks who are just “oh so” suspicious about the recent unsuspecting  Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone & Guinea. Then again with the exception of Guinea we should be cautious in using the word “unsuspecting” in itself with respect to Sierra Leone in that the country had a couple of months to begin preparation when Ebola hit first in Guinea, but were rather relaxed.  Ebola could  probably be ranked as the world’s second deadliest virus secondary to Prion disease.  Nevertheless, there are people who believe that Ebola may be some sort of pseudo man-made “Western” created virus concocted in some mysterious Dr. Frankenstein Lab located in the core of the earth’s crust for the purpose of killing off African people. And for this I would like to give the longest 60 second side eye known to the history of mankind. I could think of tons of ways to kill off Africans.  Thoughts of food insecurity, contaminated water supplies and warfare come to mind.

Okay! So maybe that description in the previous line is a gross exaggeration of the commentary, but you get the jest. All in all, West Africans in particular seem to be generally mistrustful of catastrophes that occur in our communities as it relates to disease outbreaks (or any thing for that matter) and feel that there is always a major culprit at the end with a pale face. Are such accusations plausible?

Possibly! There are a million and one reasons why Africans should be mistrustful of the World Powers which is in essence an extension of “The Empire”. Thoughts of slavery, brutality and the sadistic acts waged on the people of Africa come to mind.

I mean really? How could this virulent virus that has been basically linked to remote isolated villages in the Republic of Congo make it’s way all the way to countries on the west coast of Africa? Sidebar: The actually first outbreak of Ebola was noted in Sudan dating back to the late 70′s. Then of course the recent revelation of a “secret serum” tested on two missionary workers who are conveniently un-African do not serve as any consolation prize in easing people’s suspicious. Thoughts of biological weaponry and experimental testing on unsuspecting communities of poor disenfranchised African populations come to mind as well. Well as cruel as it may sound, pharmaceutical companies are in the business of business.

So what’s the 60 second side eye for? The side eye was meant for those of us who believe that “The Empire” needs to operate discretely to conspire against Africans any-more. Is it really any big secret that the world cares nothing for Africa at large?  I doubt that “The Powers” that be really need to go to great lengths to conspire against “us” at this point in time and for what?  Conspiring involves planning which involves a great matter of time that people who are so removed from you are not willing to invest in although inaction may still reap the same outcome but by default. African leaders have bought and sold the soul of it’s people ages ago. All Ebola did was simply expose all of the systems of inequality at work which include our so called healthcare infrastructure and the arrogance of our leaders.

In addition, why do Africans always expect the Western World to come save us?  On one end, many of you despise with a passion  all of the attributes the “West” has to offer. However, when the ish hits the fan you want protection from the same folks who conspire against you as you claim to begin with in the first place. That idea is absolute madness!  You can’t have it both ways.  Where is Africa’s scientific community and why aren’t governments investing  in Bio-tech?   Thoughts of Cheikh Anta Diop come to mind!  America may have only given that “secret serum” to their own citizens for a myriad of reasons. Heaven forbid that this “secret serum” be given to  Africans  and then they suffer an allergic reaction that kills. Can you imagine how the “Ebola Conspiracy Theory” would run wild then? Listen! We are the ones we have been waiting for Africa!  If you wait for what is oppressing you to free you then expect to die a thousands deaths!   To be continued…..

Photo courtesy: www.disclosetv.com

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DSU prof: Secret US trials spread Ebola

 

It is unclear whether or not a Delaware State University professor will be disciplined for alleging in a Liberian newspaper that the U.S. government contributed to the Ebola outbreak by using citizens in some African countries as guinea pigs for secret human trials.

According to the Daily Observer, a newspaper based in Monrovia Liberia, Dr. Cyril Broderick, an associate professor with DSU’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, said that he decided to publish the letter in response to various Internet reports that implied that the African people are gullible and ignorant.

“I think I have the right to express my opinion especially if I speak the truth and I think it’s best for the truth to be spoken or else we will have worse things around then,” Broderick, born and bred in Liberia, said Friday when reached at his home in Dover.

He added, “I was trying to make sure that people are aware of this and can get some help.

Carlos Holmes, spokesman for Delaware State University, said that the issue is an ongoing personnel matter and could not comment on whether or not action would be taken against Broderick.

“I don’t know the source of his thoughts on the matter here as expressed in the Daily Observer article, but they do not come from any research going on at Delaware State University,” Holmes said.

“Dr. Broderick enjoys the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in this country.”

Broderick alleges that reports, which he does not cite, assert that the U.S. Department of Defense has been funding such human trials through a $140 million contract with Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, just weeks before the Ebola epidemic ravaged West Africa.

He thinks the Ebola trials were designed as “biological weapons.”

People he personally knows have died from the horrific virus. As of Sept. 21 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported there have been 6,263 cases and 2,917 deaths from Ebola in Senegal, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

“It’s just completely turned my whole inside out,” Broderick said.

RELATED: Five things to know about the Ebola virus

A Washington Post article Thursday looked into Broderick’s claims and published comments from readers that suggest Broderick has promulgated misinformation about the deadly disease. The claims could contradict efforts by President Barrack Obama to deploy up to 3,000 troops to West Africa and commit over $700 million to fight the outbreak, the Post said.

Regardless, Broderick said that he is not concerned that his words will be misinterpreted by the people of Liberia and surrounding countries and cause mistrust of the aid workers in the area. In fact, he supports the military efforts.

“It was never the intent, I don’t think it [the letter] would be harmful,” he said.

Jen Rini can be reached at (302) 324-2386 or jrini@delawareonline.com. Follow @JenRini on Twitter.

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