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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.