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West African Ebola project set up

by
20 June 2014

by a staff reporter

© ALL WE CAN/LAURA COOK

Tough conditions: Nansa Diakite​, a nurse, has been working with in Mali with All We Can's partner AMAPEF for many years

Tough conditions: Nansa Diakite​, a nurse, has been working with in Mali with All We Can's partner AMAPEF for many years

A PROJECT that is working to halt the spread of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has been set up by a Methodist relief and development charity. The All We Can project is working with communities on the border between Mali and Guinea.

The virus was first spotted in the south-eastern region of Nzerekore, in Guinea, where most of the deaths have been recorded. It then spread to the Guinean capital, Conakry, and over the border into Sierra Leone and Liberia. There have been suspected cases in Mali, but these have not been confirmed by laboratory tests.

The Ebola virus has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent. There is no vaccine, and it usually kills within three to four days of the first symptoms.

The charity's programme manager for Mali, Rebecca Low, said that she was working with a local partner to improve hygiene practices and raise awareness of symptoms of the virus.

Boubar Coulibaly, president of the Malian partner agency, said: "Travel between Mali and Guinea is high; it is busy, and it has not been stopped. Malians on the Guinean border are not well-informed of the risks of contamination, or how to identify the symptoms."

The new project is targeting 17 border communities, and will run radio campaigns to raise awareness. So far, more than 300 people have died in this most recent outbreak.

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