New York, NY, June 27, 2014—The United Methodist Church is launching an Ebola Emergency Response Plan in the face of an outbreak of the deadly disease in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
The area of concentration is the Kailahun District in Sierra Leone, which joins Guinea and Liberia but extends beyond. The 599 cases reported as of June 20 suggest the largest Ebola surge in history. The disease has a death rate of 50 to 60 percent.
The church effort involves treatment, prevention and public education. It is a joint effort by West African United Methodist church leaders and regional health boards, denominational health facilities, missionaries, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the church’s humanitarian aid and health unit. UMCOR is part of the church’s mission agency, the General Board of Global Ministries. The United Methodist response is being coordinated with government and other private agency responses.