Friday, April 24, 2015

Counting the days.....

About a month ago, Liberia reported a week in which no Ebola cases had been diagnosed. May 9 is the target date for Liberia to be declared Ebola free, with no diagnosed cases for 42 days. People presenting at hospitals with fevers and other symptoms continue to be screened for Ebola and hundreds of tests are still being run each week, so the vigilance continues. Sierra Leone and Guinea are making some progress as well: only 12 and 21 cases were diagnosed in those countries in the last week, with large increases in testing taking place showing that more people are interacting with the Ebola intervention program.  We’re all praying for the numbers to really drop off soon, just about a year after the world began to understand what was happening in West Africa.  

Rick headed back to Liberia on Thursday, April 16th for a few weeks before our graduation season begins (Caleb from high school and Jared from his HVAC program). He will fill us in on how things are running at the hospital now that regular services are ramping up.  The day before, Samaritan’s Purse officially re-launched the new hospital construction project. Meanwhile, SIM missionaries are returning and assessing the status of their ministries. Everyone is ready and willing to be back to work.

We’d like to update you on the fundraising that we have been doing since Rick’s first trip to Liberia.  We are hoping to raise $50,000 this year for three ELWA Hospital projects.
The first is the ELWA Hospital Benevolence fund to assist patients who cannot pay their hospital bill.  So far, $2,400 has come in for that project. 
The second fundraising goal is to purchase some lab equipment as a part of the ELWA Hospital Transition Project.  $6,550 was given for that project, which should allow the Hospital to acquire some laboratory equipment in the near future. Rick hopes to determine what is needed while he is in Liberia and take it back with him in July.
Finally, in anticipation of the need for more and better trained physicians in Liberia, we are raising money for the Family Medicine Residency Program that Rick hopes to develop at ELWA Hospital.  Almost $7000 has been given to this project in recent months.  Therefore the total so far is $15,950.00. Thanks to those who have given to these projects. We have been overwhelmed with your generosity towards the Liberian people and the work of ELWA Hospital.
If you would still like to give to these projects, all the information is posted in this blog post
More news from Rick in Liberia soon!