What is Ebola?
Ebola is a disease of humans and is a serious infectious illness which often proves fatal. People are infected when they have direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has Ebola. Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Then, vomiting, diarrhoea and rash usually follows, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. At this time, generally, some people begin to bleed both internally and externally. Death, if it occurs, is typically six to sixteen days after symptoms appear and is often due to low blood pressure from fluid loss. There is no proven allopathic cure for Ebola.
The current situation in West Africa
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 2014, and has rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976.
Can it get worse?
This is not just the worst single Ebola outbreak in history, it has now killed more than all the others combined. Healthcare workers are visibly struggling and are being stretched beyond breaking point. The number of new cases is increasing exponentially and if this trend continues the WHO is forecasting at least 20,000 cases. As the number of cases increases, so does the risk of international spread. It is unclear as to when the outbreak could be over. The WHO is saying, officially, the outbreak could be contained in six to nine months but that is based upon getting the resources to tackle the outbreak from the rest of the world. It is likely the world will continue to be dealing with the Ebola crisis throughout 2015.
Humanity First's Response Plan
Humanity First has been operating in West Africa for over a decade. We help run and manage hundreds of schools and many hospitals and clinics across the region. We have access to many thousand of volunteers and workers on our resource database.
Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.