(Hong Kong‧3 May 2014) In response to the wider spread of the fatal Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, the International Red Cross has raised its global appeal target to about HK$15.4 million to support the epidemic prevention and community education programmes in Guinea and Liberia. The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) volunteer nurses have arrived Liberia to participate in the operation. HKRC appeals to the Hong Kong public for continuous donations in support of the emergency operations in six West African countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire).
HKRC volunteer nurses arrive in Liberia to join EVD operations
HKRC volunteer nurses Ms Carman Kwok Yuk-lai and Mr Walter Leung Wai-yin have safely arrived at Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, on 30 April. They will head to the Lofa County, neighboring Guinea, where most of the confirmed cases in the country are identified, as well the Montserrado County where suspected cases are reported. Work on the ground will begin in the next few days with the local Red Cross staffs and volunteers, in particular on EVD case tracing, community awareness campaigns and psychosocial support activities to the people affected by EVD. One more HKRC volunteer nurse will arrive in Liberia later today (3 May), and will head for the Bong and Nimba counties where suspected and probable cases are reported. They are scheduled to work in Liberia for one month.
Upon arriving in Liberia, Carman and Walter immediately met delegates of the International Red Cross stationed there to understand the epidemic situation and to plan for future work. “Since it is the first time EVD has surfaced in West Africa, many in the local communities have little knowledge about EVD symptoms and its means of transmission. Hence, people may easily panic and discriminate against those suspected of being infected or those connected to the suspected cases. It is therefore of utmost importance to disseminate through various means the proper knowledge on EVD prevention, as well as to provide psychological support for those affected,” said Carman.
International Red Cross escalates operation and appeal target
Since the outbreak of the fatal EVD in Guinea in March this year, up to 23 April, according to the World Health Organization, EVD has claimed 147 lives out of 253 confirmed cases in Guinea and its neighbouring Liberia. In view of the spreading trend, the International Red Cross has escalated the emergency operations in the two countries and has raised its global appeal target to about HK$15.4 million for reaching up to 4.5 million people in the two countries. Another HK$5.4 million has been used, since early April, for the emergency and preparedness operations in the six West African countries, aiming to reach up to 10 million people.
HKRC appeals to the Hong Kong public to continue to support our emergency appeal in making donations to support the EVD emergency and preparedness operations in West Africa.