Ebola Response in DRC and the Central America Refugee Crisis

Emergency Ebola Virus Supplies to Health Facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo
A case of Ebola was reported in the Boende region of the Democratic Republic of Congo in August of this year and tests were conducted and have recently confirmed that the virus strain found is an indigenous virus and not the variant that has been spreading in West Africa.  Ebola spreads through contact with bodily fluids. The incubation period is between two to twenty-one days.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the fourth most populous nation in Africa.  Taking preemptive precautions in the country in regards to this new Ebola virus outbreak is essential to saving lives. As most recently learned from the current outbreak in West Africa that has become the deadliest to date, it is imperative that appropriate protection equipment and training be provided to health care workers who are on the ground.

Health care workers are first responders in this epidemic and are severely affected by the epidemic in several ways. Health workers in health facilities - government, mission and private health facilities - are faced with critical challenges such as lack of proper protective equipment and a lack of risk allowance and use of barrier nursing techniques to protect them from contracting the disease during patient care. Already nine health workers are reported to have been infected with Ebola in the Congo, seven of whom have died. The situation is exacerbated by the shortage of medicines and medical supplies to manage Ebola patients.

Given the nature of this rapidly spreading, deadly virus and the need for quick action it is critical to provide health workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) and training for Ebola management. Week of Compassion is responding to this epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo through our partner IMA World Health where training is being provided at 60 health facilities in 5 provinces to efficiently manage health care service delivery for Ebola. If you would like to put your Compassion into Action to assist with Ebola relief efforts please click here to donate or if you would like to learn more about what IMA World Health is doing please click here.

Central America Refugee Crisis
As the headlines have moved away from this crisis, there are many children who remain unaccompanied at the U.S. Border. More than 300 children are reported to be crossing into the United States daily. Increased insecurity and high levels of violence involving young people and children aged 7 to 14 years, has led to high levels of forced migration in younger age groups. Week of Compassion has and will continue to respond alongside these children.

Cards completed by parishioners at Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan, NY. Photo: Will Haney

Cards completed by parishioners at Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan, NY. Photo: Will Haney

If you, your congregation or community are seeking ways to respond to this crisis you can always donate to Week of Compassion. You can also join children, parents, friends and people of faith across the country in sending cards of care and prayer to the almost 700 undocumented mothers and children (infants through teens) who have been detained at the border through the CWS Angel to Angel project. For more details how to write your letter click here. Refugee and Immigration Ministries, of Disciples Home Missions, also has a wealth resources on their website, from how to collect goods for children at the border to becoming a foster parent. Thank you for being present with children at the border.

This Week's Responses:

Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Kentucky, Tornado Relief
Iraq, Displaced People Relief
Somalia, Drought and Food Relief
Democratic Republic of Congo, Ebola Relief
Missouri, Fire Relief