Faith leaders play crucial role in battling Ebola

Infectious DiseasesD.R. Congo

It was 1 August 2018 when the first cases of Ebola began to emerge in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). One year later, the nation faces a growing crisis as the outbreak is classified as a global health emergency. 

The latest figures (30 July) reveal there are now 2,698 recorded cases and that more than 1,700 people have already died. It’s the second largest outbreak of Ebola in history.

Tearfund is working with local churches in the east of the country. So far at least 482 faith leaders have been trained, reaching more than 250,000 people with ways to prevent the spread of the disease. Pastors are sharing vital advice on washing hands, seeking medical help at the first sign of symptoms, and issuing guidelines on how to handle dead bodies.

Together with our partners, we’ve also set up triage units, toilets, incinerators and water supplies at health centres where Ebola is most prevalent.

It’s the second largest outbreak of Ebola in history.

Hebdavi Muhindo is Tearfund’s Programmes Director for the DRC. He says: ‘We remain committed to the communities we are working with to address ongoing needs both during and after this outbreak has ended. Even without Ebola, the challenges facing people here can seem insurmountable. Now, it’s more important than ever that we build up trust and work together. 

‘Our hope is that this outbreak of Ebola will be halted soon. We strongly believe that faith leaders have an important role to play in ending this epidemic and we will continue to work with them to bring information, resources and comfort to those people who are hardest hit by Ebola.’

PLEASE PRAY:

  • Pray for those people who are infected with Ebola or who have lost loved ones. Also pray for those who have survived, as they try to get their lives back on track.

  • Thank God for the courage of our staff and partners who are working in a challenging context, helping communities prevent the spread of the disease.

  • Pray for peace in the DRC as violent clashes hamper efforts to tackle Ebola.

Photo: UNMEER/ Martine Perret

Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.