The 2014 Ebola epidemic has been the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. While only one death has been recorded in the United States, Ebola has caused over 5,000 deaths in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia alone. Many organizations have now shifted their focus to combat this treacherous disease. Here is a look at three nonprofits fighting Ebola.

1) Doctors of the World

Mainly working in Liberia and Sierra Leone, Doctors of the World is aiming to prevent the transmission of Ebola and the spread of the disease within the two countries. Previously, the organization has worked in Liberia for over 10 years and is now providing medical assistance to overwhelmed healthcare facilities. They are training local health workers to protect citizens by raising awareness and conveying tips to prevent Ebola in communities. In addition, Doctors of the World is teaching people how to identify patients with Ebola and is providing medications and psychological support. As an international humanitarian network, the organization is swiftly moving on to more West African countries to halt the transmission of Ebola.

2) Global Health Ministries

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Liberia, the Lutheran Church in Liberia and multiple partner hospitals, GHM is responding to the Ebola outbreak by providing personal protection equipment, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and more. The organization has already sent out several suitcases and pallets of PPEs to Liberia via air freight. Through donations, GHM hopes to continue sending basic protective gear to Liberia to diminish the chances of contracting Ebola, especially by health care personnel.

3) Mali Health Organizing Project

In late October, Ebola spread to Mali, infecting dozens of people and putting even more at risk. In coordination with the government, the Mali Health Organizing Project became equipped with staff that can address the outbreak. They have installed sanitation kits in each clinic in Mali, in addition to providing trained health workers. Moreover, Mali Health has launched an Ebola radio program, where citizens have access to the most up-to-date Ebola information and can call to get their questions answered by medical professionals.

– Leeda Jewayni

Sources: CDC, Doctors of the World, Global Health Ministires, Mali Health
Photo: Flickr

doctors of the world
Doctors of the World is an organization dedicated to helping vulnerable groups of people by providing them basic health care. This organization was first founded in 1980 by 15 doctors who believed in bringing relief to the poorest population in the world. The first doctors were sent to unstable areas like El Salvador and Afghanistan during wartime. Doctors of the World, also called Médecin du Monde (MdM,) settled its headquarters in Paris in 1980.

There are several important fields that MdM are working on. First of all, MdM takes care of women and children living in developing countries that lack basic health facilities. Second, MdM delivers health care to people who are infected with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis. Third, MdM also takes care of the immigrants, who are new to an environment and left their country’s health care systems behind. Last but not least, MdM are dedicated to helping people suffering from local conflicts and war. During the times of conflicts and war, people leave their heath resources behind and are vulnerable to diseases.

MdM is actively involved in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin American and New York State. For example, its involvement in Rockaways, N.Y. has become a great relief to the local population. In Rockaways, 21 percent of the residents lack health insurance and 20 percent of them live below the poverty line. Since Hurricane Sandy came to Rockaways, MdM has tried its best to provide basic health care. MdM brings volunteer doctors to local families to provide primary treatment and prescribe further care if needed.

MdM also applies innovative ways to help unprivileged people. In North America, Doctors of the World Canada launched its first mobile clinic, which will provide health care services in several districts. In addition to volunteer doctors, the team also includes a driver, nurses and other volunteers. Using mobilized clinics makes it more convenient to provide basic health care to marginalized people.

MdM consider “access to health care a fundamental right of all human beings.” Today, its global network provides basic care for over 1.6 million in 79 countries all over the world.

— Jing Xu

Sources: Doctors of the World, CNW
Photo: DOW Frontline Diaries