While ebola has made it to the United States of America in small numbers and with limited lethality, it is still devastating large parts of western Africa. The countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea are still struggling to control the soaring rate of infection while also quarantining and treating those who are infected. There are many reasons that the disease is still spreading and killing people ranging from governmental corruption and a lack of faith in institutions to local superstitions and fears preventing an accurate number of infected being taken and preventing the proper destruction of infected items and corpses. One of the major reasons for the continuing struggle boils down to the simple fact that countries don’t have enough basic supplies and equipment or the funds to purchase them; things such as cotton balls, alcohol, and facemasks are difficult to come by. In a silver lining amongst all the chaos and sadness, churches with congregations made up of west African expats are now sending money and supplies home in an attempt to help the fight against ebola.
In the west African expat enclave of Little Liberia in Staten Island, congregations of the churches in the area have been organizing to send money, supplies, and prayers to their families and friends who are currently living in the countries where the diseases are tearing through the populations. In many of the churches, families have been personally affected by the disease and know friends and relatives who have been infected and died; some of their relatives were waiting and dying in agony for weeks without any governmental support or isolation. At least one church is saving up money to buy an ambulance and ship it to Liberia so that it would be available to help transport the sick to hospitals. While there is a distinct fear that the money they’re donating might not make it to where it’s meant to go, the hope is that it is at least being used to help someone somewhere in these countries.
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