From news articles and commentary released through The United Methodist Church, with links to the full articles.
Lockdown: The Door-to-Door Bid to Stop Ebola (Sierra Leone, Sept 20, by Phileas Jusu)
The usually busy and chaotic streets were virtually empty, creating an eerie ghost city. Friday was Day One of the nationwide three-day lockdown – a desperate effort to stop the deadly Ebola virus from spreading.
But inside homes, people crowded around the trained teams of health workers, community volunteers, and volunteers from non-government organizations moved from house to house with bars of soap, stickers and handbills to inform people about the hemorrhagic virus that has killed more than 2,600 people in West Africa— more than 500 in Sierra Leone—since the outbreak began.
In all, 7,136 teams of four mobilized for the Sept. 19-21 lockdown that has ground the country to a halt.
With the killing of a delegation of health officials, journalists and a pastor by a mob of rural villagers in Guinea, an even more tragic page has turned in the Ebola crisis. . . .
Commentaries on television, radio and in print by trusted leaders such as Bishop John Yambasu, the United Methodist leader in Sierra Leone, are helping to correct misinformation and encourage cooperation with health programs to halt the spread of the disease.
United Methodist Communications is providing text messages to clergy in rural areas as well as cities in Sierra Leone and Liberia. These messages are consistent with those developed by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. The church’s advantage lies in its grassroots network of clergy and leaders who live in the affected regions and are trusted.
Zuagele thanked AML officials for refurbishing the facilities and thanked The United Methodist Church for making the buildings available to the county.
“This hospital is the heartbeat of this county when it comes to providing health services in this part of Liberia,” the superintendent said. He said The United Methodist Church’s Ganta Hospital and the staff are a shining example of what a health facility should be in times of crisis.
The hospital remained open throughout the Ebola virus outbreak even in the absence of adequate protective gear, Zuagele said.