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Ebola update: your support is saving lives

With your help, we raised more than €1.3 /£1 million for our Ebola appeal.

Thanks to your generosity, we've been able to actively prevent the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

In March 2014, the largest ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease spread across West Africa. The worst-affected countries were Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Ebola is much more than a medical issue; it affected the economy, education and healthcare systems and soon escalated into a humanitarian crisis. 

  • Worldwide, there have been 28,646 cases of Ebola virus disease.

  • In total, 11,323 people died from the disease.

  • 3,956 people died from Ebola in Sierra Leone

What we achieved

Our immediate emergency response included:

  • providing powdered chlorine to disinfect health centres

  • training more than 9,000 health volunteers who reached 50,000 households across Sierra Leone with key advice to prevent Ebola transmission

  • providing food and other essentials to those in quarantine

As part of our vital recovery work, we’ve been:

  • supporting local organisations in Sierra Leone to restore health units and improve water and sanitation facilities, particularly in rural areas

  • helping Ebola survivors to rebuild their lives by providing livestock and veterinary services, seeds, farming tools and vocational training

  • training faith leaders so they can offer counselling to their communities

  • supporting orphans who've lost their parents to Ebola, offering psychological help and provision of essentials

In the following video Sierra Leone Country Manager for Christian Aid, Jeanne Kamara, talks about the days that immediately followed the confirmation of first cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

She describes how Christian Aid partners responded and how, by bringing communities and faith leaders together, the impact of the virus has been mitigated.

With 13,000 cases and 4,000 deaths in Sierra Leone however, Ebola remains a huge challenge for the country.

Sierra Leone will bear the brunt of deep and lasting scars in what has been a hugely complex and emotionally wrenching crisis. It’s not over yet, but thankfully cases are dropping.

We are moving towards the recovery stage, supporting those who have survived the ordeal and managing the risk of complacency as Ebola infection numbers drop.

More than a health issue

Throughout, we’ve recognised that Ebola is more than just a health issue. It’s been a humanitarian crisis which has required a sensitive and humane response. With your support, we’ve been able to tackle the complex issues involved and complete varied, life-saving work.

People risked starvation in the height of the Ebola crisis. Under quarantine to prevent transmission, many people had little access to food. Our partners worked tirelessly to provide food and organise life-saving distributions despite the professional and personal challenges they faced operating in such a difficult environment.

With healthcare services at breaking point, we had to get the message out on what Ebola was and how to prevent it. We did this through interactive radio programmes and innovative text messaging projects that reached far corners of Sierra Leone.

Survivors facing stigma

Ebola survivors are often stigmatised and sometimes completely rejected by friends and family, living in fear for their lives themselves. As one woman, Mabinti Mansari, told us:

  • After my neighbours found out I had Ebola they abandoned me. They don't come near me anymore.'

Many children now face life without one or both parents. We are offering psychological and practical support to them. Our partners are training faith leaders to support survivors and communities, dispelling myths about Ebola and eradicating stigma.

In the long run, we will help survivors access vocational training and run agricultural projects so they can move on with their lives. Survivors face the prospect of worsening poverty. We need to tackle this.

We thank you for your generosity and urge you to continue supporting our vital work.


Surviving Ebola: our stories

Geraldine ETMB

Eyewitness reports, photos and videos from our partners and those we're helping in Sierra Leone.

Eyewitness reports


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