RE: EBOLA EMERGENCY IN WEST AFRICA
Dear Lighthouse Medical Missions Friends:
I write now to give you a brief update on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and how this is affecting Lighthouse Medical Missions. I also want to thank you for your concern and prayers for our friends in Africa.
A little over a week ago, the New York Times’ Sunday edition ran a cover story about a hospital in Kenema, a city of 600,000 people, and the challenges they face as they fight the Ebola epidemic. In that hospital alone, 22 of their hospital workers have died of Ebola, including 15 nurses.
Our medical mission team knows Kenema well. With the generous help of others, we have built an excellent elementary school that is educating over 400 students; have built a water treatment facility for the community and have donated thousands of dollars of medications and supplies to the hospital mentioned in the Times article.
Liberia is another country where Ebola has struck. This country is also no stranger to Lighthouse Medical Missions. With limited resources available, large sectors of Liberia’s capitol have been cordoned off in an attempt to stop the spread of Ebola. The photos above shows health care workers removing bodies of victims in Monrovia.
Ebola presents a true medical and humanitarian emergency in western Africa.
The Ebola epidemic challenges Lighthouse Medical Missions in a number of ways. It would be foolhardy to send medical teams into this volatile environment. And frankly, even if we desired to go, airlines have stopped flying to western Africa.
But those being affected are our friends and co-workers. These are people we know personally and who have worked with our teams over these past 16 years. With this in mind, we have decided to do what we can to help. Here’s our plan.
First, we will be immediately sending funds to both Liberia and Sierra Leone for the express purpose of purchasing food and other items that will allow our friends to survive these next several months.
Second, we are preparing to send a container to Sierra Leone. This container will be filled with medical supplies, gloves,masks, medications, clothes, food and other items to relieve some of the depravations these communities are experiencing. Anticipated arrival of this container will be approximately 3 months from now.
Third, I ask that you commit to praying for these countries. Pray that this virus be stopped! Pray also for political stability and peace for these countries that are being affected.
Clearly, Ebola is an epic challenge to the world and it will take governments and organizations much larger than Lighthouse Medical Missions to solve the challenge it presents. But given our involvement in this area over the past 16 years, we have a moral obligation to be a part of the solution and do what we can to help.
It is for this reason that I now write to you. For those interested in participating in the effort, we thank you. 100% of your gifts will be appropriated for relief purposes and all donations are tax-deductible.
Sincerely,Robert C. Hamilton, M.D., Coordinator Lighthouse Medical Missions
"Charity begins at home, but should not end there."— Scottish proverb