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Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. Samaritan’s Purse : Helping in the Name of Jesus. Updates from the field : 30 July 2014.

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ebola outbreak in west africa

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Samaritan’s Purse : Helping in the Name of Jesus

Updates from the field : 30 July 2014


Ebola Outbreak Background InformationA rapidly evolving regional outbreak of the highly contagious Ebola virus disease has claimed 660 lives in West Africa, according to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The total number of cases attributed to Ebola has risen to 1,093. Ebola has no cure or vaccine. This outbreak began early in 2014 in forested areas of southeastern Guinea and is already unprecedented in terms of geographic scope, as well as the number of infections and deaths. Porous borders between the three affected countries (Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone), weak infrastructure and health care capacity in the area, and the fact that cases have been confirmed in all three national capitals make the situation particularly challenging and complex. The terrifying disease causes massive internal bleeding and generally has a mortality rate of between 60 to 90 percent. There continues to be an upswing in reported Ebola cases and deaths in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. New cases and deaths related to the disease were also reported in Guinea during the latest WHO reporting period, although the outbreak may be on the decline there. The current crisis in Liberia is considered the nation’s second outbreak of Ebola this year, as a first outbreak beginning in March was declared over in early May. The outbreak in Guinea and Sierra has been ongoing since the start of 2014.

how samaritan s purse is responding

Samaritan’s Purse has been working in Liberia, through our in-country office, for more than a decade.

Since March 2014, we have been actively and continuously responding to the Ebola outbreak with multiplatform education programming to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Our national awareness campaign has reached more than 440,000 people with prevention education, a figure greater than 10 percent of Liberia’s total population.

Government and UN agencies have recognized the effectiveness of our awareness campaign that continues to play a critical role in reducing disease transmission.

Nearly 10 metric tons of equipment and supplies, including protective clothing, medications, and lactated ringers solution, have been shipped to Liberia. 

How Samaritan’s Purse is Responding

samaritan s purse response continued

A team of Samaritan’s Purse medical personnel has been in Liberia providing direct clinical care to those infected with the disease.

  • Samaritan’s Purse is working with Liberia’s Ministry of Health, U.N. agencies including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other international relief organisationsto provide support for patients.
  • An expanded 20-bed CMC, funded and constructed by Samaritan’s Purse at ELWA Hospital, has now become the consolidated CMC for the greater Monrovia area.

Samaritan’s Purse Response Continued…

how samaritan s purse is fighting ebola

How Samaritan’s Purse is Fighting Ebola

Leading education and awareness programmes to prevent the spread of Ebola

Supplying essential medical equipment and supplies, including protective clothing, medications, and lactated ringers solution

Providing direct life-saving clinical care to those infected with the disease

Praying for the Ebola outbreak to be contained, eradicated and for those infected to be healed

education and awareness
Education and Awareness

Education is essential as many people remain in fear and denial about the existence and spread of Ebola. In recent surveys by Samaritan’s Purse, 84 percent of residents in Monrovia - the capital city of Liberia - revealed they did not believe Ebola was real


Samaritan’s Purse’s national awareness campaign has reached more than 440,000 people with prevention information

Samaritan’s Purse staff distribute educational fliers providing life-saving health information on the Ebola viral disease

medical equipment and supplies
Medical Equipment and Supplies

Nearly 10 metric tons of equipment and supplies, including protective clothing, medications, and lactated ringers solution, have been shipped to Liberia


Medical supplies have been sent to Liberia to equip doctors and nurses with the best resources to fight Ebola


Samaritan’s Purse has built isolation units where Ebola patients can receive the best care possible without spreading the deadly virus

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 (NIV)


Direct Medical Care for Ebola Patients

Doctors, nurses and hygienists provide direct care for Ebola patients who have been admitted Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Isolation Centre


I sought the Lord, and he answered me, he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

Timely and supportive care for patients is proven to substantially reduce the risk of death for those infected with Ebola


I sought the Lord, and he answered me, he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

Doctors continue to provide the best medical care possible


Creating Ebola Survivors

Samaritan’s Purse staff members are helping to save lives in Liberia’s Ebola outbreak

Liberia's first Ebola survivor, Harrison Sakela, poses with Dr. Lance Plyler of Samaritan's Purse. Harrison is grateful to be alive.


Learn more about Harrison’s story –

Community Health staff Joseph Mbokar and Taryee Walawu were caring for members of their African community when they realised that a local man was seriously sick.

Harrison Sakela had travelled to Sierra Leone to attend his mother’s funeral. She had passed away unexpectedly the week before. As is custom in the area, Harrison touched the body in preparation, not knowing that Ebola was the cause of her death.

When Harrison returned home after the funeral, he fell seriously ill three days later. “I first had a headache … and then my whole body was warm. But the worst was the weakness that came,” he said. “You have no strength to even walk.” Joseph and Taryee visited him, and upon identifying the symptoms of Ebola, they encouraged him to go to the Foya Case Management Centre.

Because Harrison went to the clinic at the onset of his symptoms, he is Liberia’s first Ebola survivor. Ebola has no cure, but when it is detected early and patients are given effective supportive care (rest, fluids, etc), fatality rates can decrease from 90 percent to between 30-40 percent.

“They call me the Ebola Ambassador. I am the first one to be tested positive, and now tested negative,” said Harrison, who now works as a security guard at the FoyaCentre. “I thank God for the Samaritan’s Purse staff for sharing the information with me, and encouraging me to go to the health centre.”

Since Harrison’s recovery, there have been 27 survivors from our case managements centres at Foya and at ELWA Hospital in Monrovia.


Kendall Kauffeldt, Samaritan's Purse Liberia Country Director, and Lance Plyler, Disaster Assistance Response Team Leader, met with the Vice President of Liberia, Joseph Boakai, to discuss the current Ebola situation. The Vice President's hometown is just outside of Foya, where the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak is located. Kendall and Lance were able to pray for the Vice President, his family, and the Ebola situation. Please pray for our team as they work to combat this deadly virus.



  • For the outbreak to be contained and for the protection of our medical personnel and health care workers throughout the region.
  • For our awareness campaigns to reach men and women with the truth about Ebola and its spread.
  • For sanitation experts to develop creative solutions to the challenges posed by this outbreak.
  • For God’s peace to reign in the hearts of people in this region.
  • For Dr. Kent Brantley, Medical Director for the Samaritan's Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Centre and Nancy Writebol who have both tested positive for Ebola.

Please pray for two Americans working to battle Ebola in Liberia, including a Samaritan’s Purse doctor, who have tested positive for the terrible virus and are fighting for their lives.

Dr. Kent Brantly, medical director for the Samaritan’s Purse care centre serving the Liberian capital of Monrovia, and Nancy Writebol, part of the joint Serving In Mission/Samaritan’s Purse team, are currently undergoing intensive treatment at an isolation centre.




Join us in praying for the Ebola outbreak


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Twitter: @SamsPurseUK

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