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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 15 February, 2019
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Irish aid workers travel to Sierre Leone to help with Ebola outbreak

The GOAL support team will travel to areas worst affected by the outbreak.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

TWO IRISH AID workers from Goal are travelling to Sierre Leone this weekend to scale up the charity’s response to the outbreak of Ebola.

The support team will travel to areas that have been the worst affected by the outbreak.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Darren Hanniffy, senior manager of Goal Dublin, said they are seeing a worrying increase in the spread of the disease.

While he said while the government and aid workers were doing their best, they were struggling to cope and respond in some areas.

Sierre Leone 

Hanniffy added that Sierre Leone is one of the worst countries impacted by the spread of the disease, namely because they have never had the disease in the country before and there is little education about it.

Sierra Leone West Africa Ebola Beds for patients are seen inside a tent at the recently opened but unstaffed Ebola treatment center in the village of Lakka on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The spread is worrying. The number of reported cases is increasing dramatically, but there are far more cases going unreported.

GOAL - Photos from GOAL's post | Facebook GOAL's Darren Hanniffy Source: Facebook

GOAL - Photos from GOAL's post | Facebook GOAL aid worker Gillian heading off to Sierre Leone to Source: Facebook

He said that they will be joining two other Goal colleagues who are already in the region stating that containment is key to stopping the spread of the disease.

Panic

“There is massive panic and worry in communities, however the more panic there is the more the disease spreads. We need to educate the communities about how best to handle the crisis, how they should manage and respond to people that have been diagnosed as well as how to manage the burials appropriately,” he said.

Sierra Leone West Africa Ebola Construction works are seen outside the recently opened but unstaffed Ebola treatment center in the village of Lakka on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Source: AP/Press Association Images

“There is no cure for Ebola with patients given a 60% chance of dying from the disease,” said Hanniffy.

Health workers

When asked was he concerned about his own health, he said that it was something that Goal had to respond to.

The death of health care workers is really worrying. I believe our staff are very brave and courageous in the work they do and how they overcome their fear of the virus by getting out there and meeting with communities affected by this crisis.They are educating communities and bringing them strength and I am very proud of them.

He added that they are very confident that the Ebola virus can be beaten. “With basic, simple practices, we can beat the disease by containing it. It is key that there is early reporting of cases, proper management of the sick, and particularly the dead in a controlled way. We must also ensure the people understand the disease and exactly what it means,” he added.

To find out more and support Goal visit their website and their Facebook page

Read: State of emergency declared in Liberia over deadly Ebola outbreak>

Read: Ireland pledges €120,000 to help contain Ebola outbreak>

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