A PERSONAL LETTER FROM ME TO YOU…
Ebola has now become very personal to me… It has reached the point that I am getting calls daily from very close friends who are dying…others who are infected with the virus and despite all of my connections in the Liberian government, I cannot get a bed for them. It is a feeling of absolute helplessness. As a high ranking official told me yesterday, “I wish I could help, but at this point, there are simply no beds. We are waiting for people to get well or die, and even when that happens there are 30 more people waiting in line outside of the containment centers for one bed.”
It is stark reminder of my experience during the Liberian civil war where I could have died and been buried and nobody reading this email would even know my name…I would have simply been a part of the statistics of 250,000 people who died from war or hunger. But this is becoming a reality for so many people as entire families are becoming affected, dying and are simply being wiped off the face of the earth…no funeral, to time for grief. The cremation centers are operating around the clock to keep up with the bodies and everyday pickups carry bodies in loads for mass burial or cremation. As one friend put it, “the bodies are so many, the pickup trucks looks as if they are carrying bags of coal.”
Today, I bowed my head and cried realizing that even if I should get Ebola tomorrow, chance are I would be left at home to die in a room with nobody around me. Even if I wanted to go to the hospital, they would not have the logistical capacity to take me in. I would simply be told to ‘keep hydrated.’ This cannot be the 21st century…this cannot be the new global neighborhood. How can we have people simply dying at this rate without beds??? Something as simple as a $50???
The numbers of people getting infected daily is steadily climbing. We once thought the WHO predictions of 20,000 infected or dead was impossible and overstated. It is now becoming apparent, that unless something is done rapidly, we could very well see a much higher rate of infection or death.
MY 3 WISHES:
1. I have made a personal commitment to supplying at least 100 beds at $50 each. Ultimately with a goal to donate enough beds to support Liberia’s shortage of approximately 1,000 beds. Will you join me in making this a reality?
Yes! I would like to support YAI’s “beds for Liberia” program
2. Training for 1,500 young people who have signed up for our house to house community awareness campaign begins next week. After that, our volunteers will be in all of the communities do awareness to educate people about the virus and reduce chances of transmission. We need to produce identification tshirts for them at $3 each. Please consider making a donation to this goal so that we can prevent instead of waiting for a cure.
Yes, I would like to provide tshirts for YAI’s awareness campaign
3. While we can get protective gloves and Clorox locally to distribute to the volunteers and communities to help protect themselves, we also would like to arm each of our 75 groups working in the field with a no touch thermometer (which is the first way to identify people who may have high fevers). The volunteers would then be in a position to immediately call for an Ebola test as they come across people who show early symptoms especially fevers. Each set costs $40 a piece. Again, this is another area of urgent need.
Yes, i would like to support YAI’s program to provide touch free thermometers
I want to thank all of you who have contributed so far, and call on all of you our friends, family, and long time donors to continue your support for our work especially in these difficult times.
With much love.