Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an official end to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Thursday 14 January marked 42 days since any new cases of the disease in Liberia, indicating that the outbreak has finally been controlled.
The work is not over yet, however. The WHO have warned that future flare ups are both possible and highly likely. A new case was announced in Sierra Leone late last week. Around 150 people have been quarantined since, and a second case confirmed this week. And for the survivors of the crisis, entire lives have to be rebuilt.
Tawah Nyumah lives in the Margibi district of Liberia. In late 2014, she lost her husband, her son and one of her two daughters to the disease. She misses them, and is now struggling to support herself. ‘My late son provided all we needed while my late daughter prepared all the food for the family.’
It is vital that we don’t forget those left behind. There are hundreds of thousands of people who still need immediate help in the form of food and medicine. These people, their health services and infrastructure all need support in the long, slow process of healing and restoration.
God of new life, we thank you that this epidemic is coming to an end. We give thanks for the lives spared, for the help given and for the prayers offered. We ask for protection for this area of the world – for no more new cases of Ebola. Bless those who are now carrying on with their lives, and help us to support them and not to forget them. Amen.