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02/13/2015 - WHO Current figures for Ebola


Current figures from the WHO, indicate the summary of cases as of 13 February 2015 are as follows:

Country 

Confirmed Cases

Confirmed Deaths

Guinea

3,081

2032

Liberia

8,931

3858

Sierra Leone

10,987

3363

Mali

8

6

Nigeria

20

8

Senegal

1

0

Spain

1

0

USA

4

1

UK

1

0

Total

23,034

9268

With over 100 orphans identified, who are being supported in their host communities living with the extended families over the next 3-6 months. The families are being provided with clothing and food for the orphans, and in order to encourage them to keep the orphans, they will be provided with weekly food hampers and cleaning/disinfection materials. This way our team can regularly check up on the welfare of the orphans as well.

Also, over 1,650 people have benefitted from food hampers. Also, at some churches, mosques and community centres, HF has provided hand washing kits and non-contact thermometers to help them sustain control of the virus.

One of the causes of the spread of EVD has been a lack of cleaning facilities at homes, villages and at schools. With schools reopening soon, HF is looking into decontaminating up to 100 schools, providing them with hand washing and toilet facilities to also train the youngsters in better hygiene practices for the longer term such that they adopt good and safer practices for life.


02/08/2015 - Ebola Scanning of bus passengers


Scanning of bus passengers during the past week has found 24 fever cases, out of a total of 76,260 passengers scanned. As the number of new cases has tailed off and the situation comes under control in all three countries, schools are planning to reopen by March, markets and trade is resuming, travel restrictions are being lifted and confidence is growing.

With this positive outlook, we are considering future phases to help the three countries affected by Ebola.

Humanity First is considering the following:

Clinical Capacity – one of our team is also the President of SLeMSA. Sierra Leone had a minimal clinical capacity before the outbreak, and having already lost 12 doctors and numerous nurses, will be on its knees after. Humanity First and SLeMSA have prepared a 4 month programme to train as many of the medical students as possible in this real situation to leave a legacy for the country.

Orphan Care - based on feedback on where clusters of Ebola orphans are in the country, Humanity First has identified clusters of orphans in Port Loko, Bombali and Western Rural. Humanity First is keeping the orphans with their extended families and providing support items for these children over a 6 month period.

Schools Legacy – one of the causes of the spread of EVD has been a lack of WASH facilities and lack of hand-washing. As schools are due to reopen in March, Humanity First is looking into decontaminating up to 250 schools, providing them with hand washing and sanitation facilities to also train the youngsters in better hygiene for the longer term.



02/01/2015 - Ebola Outbreak


The Ebola outbreak which began in Guinea and has spread at scale in Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to WHO, the summary of cases as of 30 January 2015 is as follows:

CountryConfirmed CasesConfirmed Deaths
Guinea2,9201,913
Liberia8,6433,700
Sierra Leone10,5613,216
Mali 86
Nigeria208
Senegal10
Spain10
USA41
UK10
TOTAL22,1598,844

This week our teams in Western Urban district visited hundreds of households and numerous churches, mosques, community centres and various markets. Over 4,850 people were trained, especially in the Freetown hotspots of Mabela, Jalloh Terries and Kroo Bay. In Western Rural district, HF teams worked in Tombo, Mama Beach and Joe Town. Food was distributed to families in Devil Hole, and with to community centres and markets, resulting in 2,500 people being trained.

Away from Western, in Bombali, the team visited 300 homes in 7 villages, and also went to numerous mosques, churches and community centres. 1,800 people were trained this week. In Port Loko, the team visited families and distributed food packs in Robiss, Makambarie, Bakeh Curve and Masiaka across 9 villages badly affected by the virus. The team also visited mosques, churches and community centres. A total of 800 people were trained.

In many of these visits, food hampers were distributed. So far, over 1,350 people have benefitted. Also, at some churches, mosques and community centres, HF have provided hand washing kits and non-contact thermometers to help them sustain control of the virus.



01/27/2015 - Ebola Latest Statistics


Overall, the number of new cases has tailed off. The behaviour change through sensitization is having a positive effect in getting the outbreak under control. In Sierra Leone, confidence is growing since restrictions on travel and markets were lifted this weekend, and the Government also announced that schools will reopen in March. Schools are reopening sooner in Guinea and Liberia to much relief.





Total bus passengers scanned the past week: 68,458
Total scanned to date: 456,052
Total fever cases identified past week: 19
Total fever cases identified to date: 166


01/19/2015 - Ebola Screening on Bus Terminal


The screening of bus passengers at major bus terminals across Freetown is continuing with over 83,000 passengers being scanned in the past week. Due to the holiday period, there was less traffic than usual. The team are also providing public information and soapy water for passengers to clean their hands before boarding.
HF is supporting many EVD orphans in their host communities living with the extended families. HF is providing food, clothing, cleaning and other items to help the families support these orphans and to overcome stigma issues. HF is providing weekly food hampers for vulnerable families including those harbouring Ebola suspected casesor facing stigma.
A video of the ongoing work and aid provided has been uploaded to our Youtube channel. View the video here - http://youtu.be/G2cuUzHJ-28


01/06/2015 - HF EVD readiness for Hospitals across Africa


HF has issued a standard protocol for safe triage and dealing with an Ebola case at any of our hospitals such that the patient can be isolated and safely transferred to the nearest appropriate specialist facility. The protocol has been circulated to health facilities in 7 countries. Items are ready for shipment from the UK including clinical supplies, and HF has finalised a shipping route. A container of supplies including computers, printers, clinical supplies, hand gels, protective materials, HF merchandise, homecare isolation items and literature is being prepared for shipping in early January 2015. We are grateful to our partners including B Braun and Deutsche Bank for their generous donations.
Infection Control
HF is continuing the screening bus passengers at major bus terminals across Freetown. Teams of 3 at each bus station (total team of 18) are using non-contact thermometers to screen passengers. In the past week over 50,000 passengers were screened and since the screening started over 228,000 passengers have been scanned.
Food Distribution
HF is providing weekly food hampers for vulnerable families including those harbouring Ebola suspected cases or facing stigma. So far packs have been distributed for 300 people, with the focus this week on Port Loko district. The village of Mabetor had lost 30% of its population to Ebola and had been in long periods of quarantine meaning the locals were unable to tend their farms and have lost their crops and income. HF provided food hampers to the villagers, especially to orphans, the elderly and widows of Ebola.


12/30/2014 - Weekly food hampers for vulnerable families


Regional staff are gradually being deployed. This team is driving a public awareness (sensitization) campaign across Sierra Leone starting in the Western Rural and Urban, Bombali and Port Loko districts. By next weekend, we will also have started teams in Tonkolili and Kono, although regional quarantine measures have slowed down our wider deployment. Due to the scale of cases in Western, we are increasing the team size in these districts rather than extending to the Eastern districts where Ebola seems to be under control. The teams are visiting and equipping mosques and churches to assist their local congregations, and also providing information to the public at bus and coach stations and in public markets such as Wellington.
We are coming across hotspots such as Kissy, and also, in one community centre in Western Rural that our team had planned to visit this week, the leader actually died of Ebola before we arrived which is devastating. Many of the 92 EVD orphans identified during our sensitization visits have survived the virus themselves as well as losing their parents. They do have extended family, but due to the stigma of their experiences, they are isolated and vulnerable. HF is considering supporting many of these orphans in their host communities living with the extended families. HF has offered to provide food, clothing and other items to help the families support these orphans and to overcome stigma issues.
Humanity First has finalized contents of weekly food hampers for vulnerable families including those harboring Ebola suspected cases or facing stigma. So far packs have been distributed for 250 people.


12/12/2014 - HF start Ebola screening in Freetown


The scale of the viral outbreak in Sierra Leone is growing, with over 7,800 cases in the country, and between 50 to 100 new cases every day. There are many particular risk areas for infection including funerals, markets, open defecation in villages, and tightly packed passengers on public transport.
With approval from the Ministry of Transport and the Mayor of Freetown, Humanity First last week began screening passengers at some of the major bus stations around the city. We have teams of 3 staff at stations such as Calaba Town and Lumley screening passengers with non-contact thermometers, providing information on how to stay safe, and a blue tank of soapy water on tap for passengers to wash their hands.
In the first week, we screened 7,713 passengers and detected just 10 cases of fever who were then referred for care. The drivers and passengers have welcomed the 'safety first' approach and now feel safer in public transport across the city.
Apart from the buses work, we have trained a team of 42 who have started public awareness and sensitization work, initially in the Western Rural and Western Urban districts, and now the team are extending into Bombali and Port Loko. The team are using various approaches including our public awareness video which is now available in English and Krio, various posters and live demonstrations on safe hand-washing, screening and ways to stay safe. We have a target to reach people at over 1,000 community centres and neighbouring villages in all 14 districts of Sierra Leone within the next 3 months.



11/25/2014 - Surveillance Network in Sierra Leone


The Ebola virus continues to claim victims, with new fatalities emerging in Bamako, Mali. Upto Friday 21 November, the total cases were 15,352 and there have been 5,459. Whilst new treatment centres are ramping up bed capacity, many suspected cases are still being sent home every day. Latest UN figures suggest that 26% of EVD treatment beds are now operational, 45% of burial teams have been trained and laboratory services are now available in all affected regions.
There are concerns that public transport and markets are risk areas for infection, and the UN is also warning of the impact of open defecation, with 50% of people in Liberia not having access to a toilet, and more than 30% in Sierra Leone. Open defecation can spread Ebola from affected cases, but also leads to fatal diarrhoea in the region.
Humanity First has started training a large team working in the regions in Sierra Leone who are using posters, videos and face to face demonstrations to teach people how to stay safe from the Ebola outbreak. Humanity First is finalising plans to provide food hampers to vulnerable families, and to do infection control at bus stations and for patients still at home. Humanity First is in discussions with local authorities to ensure these interventions are done in a co-ordinated fashion to complement other measures being taken on the ground.
As we recruit teams to work in the provinces of Liberia and Sierra Leone, we urgently need more funds. Just £32 a week pays for one of our Ebola case workers, £40 buys a non contact thermometer to help with our public screening work.
Humanity First is running a global appeal for our Ebola programme, with funds coming in from North America, Europe, Middle East and even Mauritius! Fundraising dinners are being held on 4 December (London & Toronto) and 10 December (Washington DC). Please support our campaign, and follow our daily updates on Twitter @hfusa


11/18/2014 - Public Awareness Video


The total confirmed cases as of Friday was 14,413, and deaths stands at 5,177. Worryingly, more cases and deaths in Mali. There is some positive news. Gradually more treatment beds are going live, and three trial drugs start tests in the region from December.

HF's Public Awareness video is now ready in English and being translated into local languages. HF is about to start work in Sierra Leone working with partners to support suspected cases sent home due to a lack of beds. We plan to help their families look after them better whilst preventing further spread of the virus.


11/12/2014 - FREETOWN TRAINING ACTIVITY


The team in Freetown is now recruiting and training staff in our regional surveillance network across Sierra Leone, with a priority on areas such as Port Loko facing recent cases.
A public awareness video is almost complete. The script, based on WHO guidance, is being translated in many local languages and will also be used for radio messages in several countries. HF has received supplies of medication, IV equipment and handwash ready for shipment to West Africa.
Locally we are seeing increasing cases in the West and North of Sierra Leone. Key risk areas are funerals, open crowded markets and public transport buses. We are in discussions with local authorities on our suggestions to safeguard the general public.
We are very grateful to partners such as B Braun, Johns Hopkins, EMIS Group, NHS volunteers and Ascribe Ltd for their ongoing support on our Ebola response.


11/03/2014 - GLOBAL EBOLA COMMAND CENTRE


Humanity First has established a Global Ebola Command Centre in London, and now a national ECC in Freetown, Sierra Leone, with 3 full-time staff managing reporting and surveillance, financial control and liaison locally with DFID, UN and other NGOs.
Humanity First is preparing a training video for our Ebola clinicians, and also a public awareness video and related materials based on WHO guidance.
So far, Humanity First has provided PPE materials to our team in Liberia, and is preparing a shipment of PPE, clinical equipment and medications for our team in Sierra Leone.
We are very grateful to partners such as B Braun, Johns Hopkins, EMIS Group, NHS volunteers and Ascribe Ltd for their support on our Ebola response.

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