Emergency appeal for ebola

18 September 2014

Dear Confreres,

P.Aris Miranda

P.Aris Miranda

Health and Peace!

All of us are eagerly following the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus that is affecting mostly Liberia and Sierra Leone.

According to the WHO (as of September 12) the Ebola virus has killed more than 2,400 victims and infected at least 5000 throughout West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone). These are the deaths officially recorded. The Camillians through the Camillian Task Force has been closely in contact with the local church (in particular the Diocese of Makeni) and the religious (Xaverians) in the area aware that this is just only the tip of the iceberg.

The information collected in these recent weeks via skype, email and meetings have pointed out a big tragedy related to the lack of knowledge of the disease and the corresponding widespread sense of panic. People died even with a simple illness because most of them are afraid to go to hospital.

Deaths out of hunger overlaps with those of Ebola because of quarantine measures that often impede access to food, water, and other means necessary for survival. Once again a real disaster that you cannot just simply say “natural” because it “breeds” poverty and social injustice.

Putting ourselves at listening to the cry of the poor and the local communities is a choice that we want to do, going beyond media exposures (which often provokes more panic) by paying attention to the heart of the problem in order to avoid proliferation of inutile interventions.

But today, we are launching our first appeal to the Order to solicit an availability of each one to be part of an assessment team of the Camillian Task Force that is set to depart in October for a couple of weeks in order to understand better how we can respond better to their needs.


P.John Toai

Father John Toai (a Vietnamese Camillian) is in Monrovia (Liberia) already joining the team organized by the Catholic Health Association of Liberia under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Liberia.

More than our generosity and availabilíty in coordination with our superiora, one must have also:

– a basic proficiency of the English language;

– a background on health science;

– a minima) work experience in the field of emergency.

The assessment mission team will probably leave in October with Fr. Aris and will conduct the assessment in Liberia or Sierra Leone, which probably foresees the need for new human and economic resources.

The epidemic, however, is expanding and has already gone beyond the confines of these two nations and it does not exclude the possibility of reaching the neighboring francophone countries where our institutional presence is visible.

In view of this, we are asking our confreres in Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and the Ivory Coast, to start thinking in collaboration with the Camillian Task Force for preventive measures and an eventual intervention especially in the border in coordination with the loca) health authorities.

For those who are interested to support, please write to the CTF (ctf@camilliani.org).

May God biess you all!

Fraternally yours,

P.Leocir Pessini e P.Aris Miranda