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Ebola Nearing Tipping Point

Ebola Nearing Tipping Point

4th November 2014 - TEAR Fund today launched an appeal to help contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia through its Integral Alliance partner Medical Teams International (MTI) as Ebola will have dramatic impacts even beyond the immediate medical emergency.

TEAR Fund CEO and head of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum (NDRF), Mr McInnes says, the widespread outbreak has reached a critical point where it has moved beyond a medical emergency to a humanitarian one.

“The Ebola outbreak is impacting economies, livelihoods, food production and overburdening already fragile health systems and other government agencies. This is a volatile situation with the potential to cause civil unrest. If panic sets in it will displace people making it extremely hard, if not impossible, to control the spread of Ebola.”

Mr McInnes says we have already heard of farmers abandoning their fields because they wrongly fear being infected by water in irrigation channels; some in cities are panic-buying. The World Bank warns that Liberia’s rubber production, a big export earner, could fall drastically. “These are just some of the fall-outs happening beyond the medical emergency.”

TEAR Fund’s partner MTI is working in seven counties in Liberia to help treat patients, raise awareness to help stop the spread of Ebola and avoid hysteria, train health workers in how to protect themselves, and in effective infection control. They are also delivering medical supplies including Personal Protective Equipment kits (PPEs), gloves and body bags.

Mr McInnes says it is important that people in affected countries can see enough is being done to contain the situation otherwise if hysteria sets in or if health systems collapse, “we are really in trouble”.

To donate to TEAR Fund’s Ebola Appeal visit: tearfund.org.nz or phone 0800 800 777.

About Tear Fund
TEAR Fund is a leading New Zealand Christian Aid and Development Organisation. For more than 35 we have worked in close partnership with local Christian non-government organizations and churches in Asia, Africa, Central and South America for the last thirty five years. We actively change the lives of the poor and oppressed through disaster relief, community development and child sponsorship. Assistance and care is always provided without bias or prejudice in terms of race, religion, caste, class, political beliefs or gender. www.tearfund.org.nz

ENDS

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