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Vatican to send $3.5 million to African countries affected by Ebola

2015-01-08

The Ebola epidemic is far from being over. More than 8,000 people have already died in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia since its outbreak in December 2013.

Health professionals are particularly exposed to this virus, since its transmitted through physical contact. So far, 10% of Sierra Leone's doctors have lost their lives after assisting infected people. A percentage that would mean losing 64,000 doctors in the United States and 19,000 in Spain.

In a document, the Vatican Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace echoes the high rate of deaths among health professionals. In the text, it also asks international community to keep helping tackle the epidemic.

The document announced that the Vatican is sending a "financial contribution” of $3.5 million to help the most hardly hit countries. This money will be used to assist families and train residents on how to prevent the propagation of the virus.

In Monrovia, Liberia's capital, international volunteers explain locals why is important to follow hygienic and other prevention measures at all times. The lack of proper information can lead to taking for Ebola some other disease.

EDDIE OXIE
UNICEF Community Health Volunteer
"I came and saw the child and the child was very dry. You could count all of the rib bones, all of the backbones. So she thought it was Ebola but I said no, ma'am it is not Ebola, it is malnourished.” 

International NGOs and the Catholic Church continue to respond to all the health needs overshadowed by the Ebola outbreak. Due to their weak national health systems, countries like Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia suffer a high rate of malnutrition and infant mortality.

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