SCHOOLS and universities in Liberia are beginning to reopen, six
months after they were closed at the height of the outbreak of the
Ebola virus, which has so far killed about 9000 people in West
The reopening of educational institutions is a sign that the
country believes that it is beginning to get over the outbreak, and
only four new cases within its borders were confirmed last week.
The first vaccine trials against the virus also began in Liberia
The Episcopal Church of Liberia's Cuttington University is
fundraising to try to open its doors again: money is needed to
bring back teachers who left the country to escape the outbreak.
The Bishop of Liberia, Dr Jonathan Bau-Bau Bonaparte Hart, has
appealed for $1.3 million (£857,000) to get the university open
again. While educational institutions were closed, Cuttington
donated its housing, fields, and kitchens for use by an Ebola-virus
treatment-centre near the university.
Re-integrating survivors of the virus into their communities is
now becoming the priority for many aid agencies in the region.
About 22,000 people are thought to have been infected with the
disease, meaning that there are about 13,000 survivors.
The Methodist charity All We Can has set up a survivor centre in
Sierra Leone in which trained counsellors will offer support and
work with families to tackle their fears and concerns. This
includes raising awareness of the risk of sexual transmission of
the virus, given that the virus can still be sexually transmitted
up to three months after a survivor has been medically certified as
free of it.
Survivors have also had all their personal belonging incinerated
to eradicate any infection, and leave hospitals with nothing; so
the Methodist Church of Sierra Leone is providing packs containing
shoes, clothes, and food, and is appealing for donations to provide
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has written off $100
million of debt owed by Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The Fund
urged other countries to write off mroe debt to help the West
African nations rebuild after the Ebola crisis.
Tim Jones, policy director at the Jubilee Debt Campaign,
welcomed the decision but warned that the IMF would also be loaning
hundreds of millions more.
"The IMF can easily afford to cancel all the $620 million debt
of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone which will remain," he said.
"It should do so."