- Sierra Leone: Mudslides - Aug 2017
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2015
- West Africa: Ebola Outbreak - Mar 2014
- Sierra Leone: Wild Fires - Jan 2013
- Sierra Leone/Guinea: Cholera Outbreak - Feb 2012
- West/Central Africa: Floods - Jun 2010
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods and Landslides - Aug 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2007
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2007
Dr. John Mattia is one of two practicing Ophthalmologists in Sierra Leone and also the medical director of two hospitals in Sierra Leone supported by CBM, namely; Lowell & Ruth Gess United Methodist Church Eye Hospital (Kissy) in Freetown and Baptist Mission’s Eye Hospital in Lunsar. In this interview Dr. Mattia speaks about the Ebola Sensitisation Project run by the hospital, and the progress made in educating the public about this debilitating disease.
What is the Ebola Sensitisation project about?
It has now been about nine months since the Ebola outbreak started in Guinea. CBM partner organisations in Guinea and Sierra Leone – 2 of the 3 most affected countries – have scaled down their activities. The loss of local staff and the risk of insolvency of their institutions are among other negative effects. By extension, tens of thousands of people who depended on them for health, and other social services are no longer getting the services they require leading them to deeper poverty.
Dr Carmen Valle is a CBM Co-worker, who works as project coordinator and mental health specialist with the ‘Enabling Access to Mental Health Programme’. In this article, she discusses the progress made in Sierra Leone for people with psychosocial disabilities and also the current threat the Ebola virus is bringing to this progress.
Ebola virus disease outbreaks have a significant impact on the wellbeing of those affected, their family, community members and the health workers treating people with Ebola.
This guide focuses on psychological first aid, which involves humane, supportive and practical help to fellow human beings suffering serious crisis events. It is written for people who can help others experiencing an extremely distressing event.
CBM is working with local partners to strengthen the resilience of beneficiaries of their programmes including persons with disabilities during this crisis.
According to the latest report [a] from the World Health Organisation (WHO), "the total number of probable, confirmed and suspected cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa was 4366, with 2218 deaths, as at 7 September 2014. The countries affected are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Ebola has claimed over 1,200 lives in the past two months in West Africa. We spoke with Dr. Carmen Valle, a Mental Health Specialist based in Sierra Leone, who is working with health professionals and ensuring psycho-social support to children orphaned by this terrible disease.
8th Aug 2014: The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has forced CBM to scale down on its activities. CBM has three projects in the affected regions: at the Kissy Eye Clinic as well as a psycho-social health project in Freetown, Sierra Leone and at the CADESSO Eye Hospital in Guinea. All three projects are temporarily scaled down due to the outbreak.
CBM has been working in Sierra Leone since 1980 and in Guinea since 1983. In 2013 CBM treated more than 46,000 patients with eye diseases in Sierra Leone, and about 20,000 in Guinea.