Saturday was the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and ChildFund’s blog post focuses on Bolivia, where nearly three out of four people belong to an indigenous group. Many countries where we work have significant indigenous populations, and they often face special challenges, including speaking languages other than the “official” tongue. Read more here.
The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency Friday over the Ebola outbreak in western Africa that has killed almost 1,000 people.
The outbreak of the deadly virus is “extraordinary event” and a public health risk to other countries, it said.
The Ebola crisis is affecting countries where ChildFund works, and we’re finding that community involvement — volunteers with our local partners who spread the word about good hygiene and early medical attention — is making a difference. We’re working with governments and other NGOs. You can read more about our response here.
Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be taking a 50 day trip in partnership with the United Nations, supported by the Secretary General’s MDG Advocacy Group. I’ll be posting portraits and stories from the trip on the blog. We’re calling it a ‘World Tour,’ because the trip will span over 25,000 miles and circumnavigate the globe. But since there are only ten countries on the itinerary, it would be rather foolish to claim that these portraits and stories somehow represent ‘the world,’ or humanity as a whole. The point of the trip is not to “say” anything about the world. But rather to visit some faraway places, and listen to as many people as possible.
In addition to gathering portraits and stories, the purpose of the tour is to raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals, which are pictured. The MDG’s are eight international development goals that every member state of the UN agreed we should accomplish by the year 2015. Basically: they’re stuff that everyone can agree the world needs. (More info can be found here: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/). So in addition to telling stories of individuals, we hope this trip may in some way help to inspire a global perspective, while bringing awareness to the challenges that we all need to tackle together. Hope you enjoy.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spreading at an alarming rate. The death toll rose Monday to 900 when the World Health Organization reported 61 new deaths across four countries.
Here in the U.S., an American doctor is being treated for Ebola at an Atlanta hospital. And doctors in New York City are testing a man, who visited West Africa last month, for the virus at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Associated Press reported Monday.
But Sierra Leone is one of the nations hardest hit by the outbreak. The country has reported more than 600 Ebola cases since late May.
In response, Sierra Leone’s president declared a state of emergency Wednesday and announced a series of hard-line measures designed to stop the spread of the disease. Among them was a 21-day quarantine on all homes exposed to the virus. Hundreds of military members were deployed Monday to enforce the quarantine.
But when I visited one of these homes in Sierra Leone’s capital city, Freetown, the atmosphere appeared relaxed. The home was guarded by only two police officers. People seemed to come and go as they pleased.
Sule Koroma and his family were placed under quarantine after his sister Saudatu Koroma died of Ebola in late July. She was the first resident in Freetown to test positive for the virus. And when Saudatu’s family forcibly took her out of the city’s hospital it triggered a manhunt.
Top Photo: A neighbor talks to one of the two policemen assigned to enforce the quarantine of Sule Koroma’s house in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Bottom Photo: Members of the Koroma family relax Sunday at their quarantined home in Freetown.
Photos by Tommy Trenchard for NPR
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