According to the latest figures the virus has killed 1,900 people in west Africa
The Sovereign Order of Malta’s Ebola kit containing medicines and healthcare products arrived in Monrovia, Liberia on 2 September last. The kit mainly consists of supplies for the protection and hygiene of the local population and medical personnel in hospitals and healthcare products for patients, including tests and medicines, water purification tablets, disinfectants, soap, surgical gauze and thermometers.
This consignment is financed by the Global Fund for Forgotten People (the Order of Malta’s special agency which raises funds for its humanitarian projects) and implemented by the Ordre de Malte France. The relative agreements were made during a meeting held in Rome at the end of July between the two Liberian ambassadors to Italy and to the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Grand Hospitaller Dominique de la Rochefoucauld-Montbel.
“This initial consignment is a confirmation of the productive cooperation with the Government of Monrovia, which is taking every step to fight the Ebola virus,” said the Order of Malta’s ambassador to Liberia, Pier Luigi Nardis. “We’re now planning to send further aid to deal with a health and humanitarian situation that is becoming more urgent every day”.
A month since the alarm launched by the World Health Organization on 8 August last, which defined it a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, the situation in the affected countries remains extremely serious. Even in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, there is a shortage of hospital beds as the number of patients continues to rise. It is calculated that in west Africa the virus has hit 3,500 people, of whom 1,900 have died.
Again according to the World Health Organization, as many as twenty thousand people could be affected before the epidemic is completely stamped out.
The Sovereign Order of Malta has been working in the Republic of Liberia for some years now, supporting the Ganta leprosarium, on the border with Guinea, run by the sisters of the Congregation of the Consolata. Humanitarian activities have been stepped up over the last years thanks to the signature in 2011 of a Health Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and the Sovereign Order of Malta.
Thanks to the cooperation with the national government, the Order of Malta’s French association manages clinics, programmes for early diagnosis and awareness-rousing campaigns also in Guinea Conakry where experts claims that Ebola first broke out in early 2014 to then spread to other countries.