Ebola Updates

Updates from Sierra Leone

Please continue praying for our children and staff, and for all of West Africa. If you would like to be a prayer partner and receive weekly email updates on the Ebola situation, you can sign up here

Right now our children and staff are safe, and we are taking precautions to keep them out of harm's way.
You can help us stay prepared by giving to our Fight Ebola fund right here.

 

Latest COTN news

December 16, 2014

One of our partner ministries, David C. Cook's Global Mission, has given us two resources to share with you in response to the Ebola crisis. 

If you plan to use these materials, please send an email to jefflander@cotni.org with your name, the organization or church name using the material, the number of copies you will be using, and how it will be used (as our partner in ministry, David C. Cook has requested this from us for their records). If you intend to print more than 10 copies, you will need to contact David C. Cook at Global@DavidCCook.org to request permission.

Helping Young People Deal with the Ebola Crisis

Our God is Stronger than Ebola

These children’s materials and resources were created by David C Cook. They are licensed and may be used freely in any setting where children are worried about Ebola. No additional permission is needed for one to ten copies. To reprint on a larger scale, contact David C Cook for permission. E-mail Global@DavidCCook. org. ©2014 David C Cook. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

December 16, 2014

Progress continues on the wall around our ministry center in Sierra Leone! Thanks to your generous support, our in-country staff have been able to continue making bricks and building a wall along one side of our property.

A chain-link fence will soon stretch around the rest of the property. Materials for the fence are on their way to Sierra Leone right now, and should arrive in January.

 

 

 

 

December 5, 2014

Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to purchase a new vehicle to be used by our staff in Sierra Leone. This truck will be used by staff members, and our LandCruiser is now designated to be the emergency vehicle. Thank you!

 

November 13, 2014

Thanks to our generous partners, our staff in Sierra Leone has been able to start work on the wall around our Children's Homes.
The wall (shown here under construction), which we're hoping to extend around our entire ministry site, will help us better control the flow of visitors onto our campus. This is a good way of protecting our children year-round, not just during this season of concern.
 
Health workers at the hospitals and clinics near our ministry site (like Serabu Catholic Hospital, shown below receiving three new disinfectant sprayers) were so happy to receive the medical supplies you helped send. Thank you!
With your help, we'll continue sending as many supplies as we can, so these clinics can treat patients safely and combat this disease. 

 

October 31, 2014

It is with sadness that I report the deaths of two students who attended our Marjay Town school in Freetown. Christiana and Christian were twins who would have begun first grade in September if school had been in session. Also dead are their parents and grandmother. 
As our Marjay Town school is 6 hours from our Banta ministry site and serves only community children, Christiana and Christian were not in our sponsorship program. Because of this, we could not give them the same level of care and protection we give our sponsored children in Banta. Even so, we are deeply saddened by their passing. It is a sobering reminder that this virus does not discriminate.
 
We are continuing to send medical supplies to Sierra Leone via air freight. Two shipments, from partners in Southern California and Texas, arrived in Freetown last week. These supplies will be used at our clinic and at local hospitals in Banta.

 

October 30, 2014

Today, partners in Minnesota packed a shipping container full of meals to be sent to Sierra Leone. That shipment is scheduled to arrive in January.

 

October 28, 2014
Please be praying for our children and staff as they enter into another period of quarantine at our ministry site. There have now been at least 88 cases of Ebola in Moyamba district, where our ministry site is. There was recently a second case in the previously inactive district which we border, Bonthe. The other district our chiefdom borders is Bo, where there have been at least 164 cases of Ebola.

Please pray for our VPP communities, that our children and their families will be protected from Ebola and the many other indirect challenges that its spread continues to bring.


October 20, 2014
Two more shipments of medical supplies (one from partners in Southern California, another from Texas) have arrived in Freetown. These supplies will be transported to our ministry site in Sierra Leone's interior over the next few days, to be used at our clinic and distributed at local hospitals.


October 7, 2014
Generous partners, including many of you, funded a fence that will be built around our children's homes! Thank you! We are now seeking additional funds to extend the fence around our entire ministry site, to better protect the staff and children. You can give to the fence project here.


October 4, 2014
The third shipment of medical supplies have arrived at our ministry site and our staff distributed them to two hospitals in our region that desperately needed protective gear and disinfectant equipment. The hospital workers have expressed their gratitiude for your generous donations. 



October 3, 2014
Our staff distributed buckets and disinfectant soap to every household with a child in our program—270 total. Families were trained in their proper use and how handwashing can prevent the spread of Ebola. 

 




September 23, 2014
Our district in SIerra Leone has been quarantined, due to the high number of cases there. We are moving forward with the next phase of our response, building a fence to protect the children living on our ministry site. 


September 22, 2014
The rate of Ebola infection continues to rise in Sierra Leone. In the last week, 242 new cases were confirmed in Sierra Leone. Twenty-four of those cases were in our district. 

September 19, 2014
Our staff prayed over and sent out the third shipment of medical supplies. Thanks to generous partners, almost all of the supplies were donated! These medical supplies will go to two neighboring hospitals that we partner with, to protect their workers from infection.


 

September 11, 2014
Ebola is at our doorstep. On September 11, a case of Ebola was confirmed in Moriba Town, just 16 miles from our ministry site. 
 
With this new development, our Ebola preparations have moved from Level 1 to Level 2. This means greatly increasing safety measures at our campus and in the surrounding villages. The response needs to be immediate, but we do not have these funds available. 
 
If you would like to give to support our ongoing Ebola emergency efforts, please click here
 
Thank you for your continued prayers.
 
September 8, 2014
The second shipment of medical supplies has reached our ministry site in Sierra Leone. The supplies are ready to be used if needed.
Second shipment of medical supplies in SL
 
August 28, 2014
Thanks to generous donations from some local businesses and physicians, we were able to send a second shipment of medical supplies to our ministry site in Sierra Leone. The shipment contains enough supplies to allow COTN’s medical clinic staff to fight the disease for 90 days.
The shipment included medical supplies donated by Tim’s Home Medical Supply of Bremerton, Wash., and the Pacific Surgery Center in Poulsbo, Wash., where COTN board member Dr. Mike Jungkeit operates. Bellingham, Washington-based Gundie’s Auto Recyclers helped cover the cost of sending the supplies to Africa via air freight.
Second shipment of medical supplies leaving Silverdale
 
August 25, 2014
The medical supplies sent from our USA office have arrived at our ministry center in Sierra Leone (see below). So far there has been no need to use them, but our staff had an opportunity to test out some of the equipment. 
 
August 11, 2014
We just sent 250 pounds of medical supplies to Sierra Leone from our USA headquarters in Silverdale, Wash. These include:
  • Alcohol wipes (1,400)
  • Probe covers for thermometers (3,100)
  • Digital thermometers (5)
  • Disposable thermometers (900)
  • Eye shields (58)
  • Stethoscopes (4)
  • Gloves (9,500)
  • Face masks (450)
  • OR sterile towels (80)
  • Scrub brushes/sponges (60)
  • Operating scissors (5)
  • Isolation gowns (76)
  • Sponsorship mail 
 
August 6, 2014
  • There are still no reported cases of Ebola near our ministry center in Sierra Leone.
  • Our staff continues to take precautions to prevent infection, though. Every person entering the campus is having their temperature taken daily. Once they are cleared, they are given a pass which they must carry while on-site. Security guards are in place and everyone is washing their hands in the chlorine at the entry points of the campus and as they enter each children's home.
 
August 4, 2014
  • The Sierra Leonean government declared Monday, August 4, a national stay-at-home day, in an effort to stop the spread of the Ebola outbreak. 
  • The mood in Banta seems positive with the outbreak being taken seriously but a sense that the new measures being imposed by the government should make a positive difference.
  • The flow of people through the COTN campus is being controlled with compulsory hand washing at various locations. Efforts are being made to also impose fever checks.
 
August 2, 2014
Two people from our health care team attended a one-day workshop run by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Moyamba, the main city in our district. They feel better equipped to respond to an emergency after this.
 
July 31, 2014
Our children and staff have not been directly affected by the outbreak. However, we have set up some precautions to keep them safe. Please see below. 
 
July 30, 2014
We have set up an emergency preparedness fund to help us provide for any precautions we may need to implement to keep our children and staff safe.
Emergency preparations may include:
  • Setting up hand-washing stations at our campus
  • Educating the children and staff on ways to prevent the spread of disease
  • Equipping vehicles so they will be ready to travel to hospitals if needed
  • Making sure we have enough food and other resources on campus
  • Setting up any medical supplies we may need on campus 
We are also putting travel restrictions in place to minimize any potential risk to exposure. For at least the next 90 days, our Children's Home children will not be traveling to visit extended family in other villages. Also, all Venture Trips to Sierra Leone will be suspended for at least the next 90 days.
 
June 27, 2014
The head nurse at COTN's Ngolala Clinic attends a workshop at Serabu Hospital focused on Ebola prevention and treatment. Training begins in our schools, talking to the children about the virus and how they can keep themselves safe.
 
June 12, 2014
COTN–Sierra Leone Country Director Sahr Yambasu states that local sensitization efforts have been ongoing in the Upper Banta area. Connections with the Ministry of Health are maintained through the new government appointed Community Health Assistant posted to our Ngolala Clinic.
 

Updates from other organizations

You can find additional Ebola updates on the websites of the World Health Organization, the US embassy in Sierra Leone, and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.