VSO has worked in Sierra Leone for 50 years, and over that time we have established ourselves within local communities as well as forged strong relationships with government departments. While we’re not a disaster response agency or a humanitarian relief organisation, through our strong, local networks we have been helping the fight against Ebola. And we want to do more.
Since the Ebola outbreak VSO has been working with our international colleagues and partners to offer whatever support we can. Our Sierra Leone team is part of the Ebola task force committee at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and we have developed a programme focusing on community mobilisation and support for health care workers. We are also supporting the Ministry of Health to ensure the long term impact of Ebola is minimised in maternal, newborn and child health.
VSO is committed to Sierra Leone - and we want to keep doing what we do best - building local capacity and long term resilience, not only to respond to the immediate crisis, but also to bolster communities’ capacity to detect future outbreaks earlier, and to coordinate and respond more effectively when public health emergencies occur. We are working with the international disaster relief community to source expert international volunteers as well as mobilising our national volunteers. These community and national volunteers are critical if we are to establish a lasting human resource of trained individuals who understand the local context and can provide surge capacity when needed.
How can you help from here in the UK?
VSO is determined to harness our 50 year history in Sierra Leone to play a critical role in the global Ebola response, and we need your help.
You may be aware that the British government is working with Save the Children and the International Federation of the Red Cross in Sierra Leone, to support local healthcare workers. Health care workers are desperately needed to help deliver this much needed support.
We know that people like you have some of the skills and experience so urgently needed in the treatment centres which have already been set up.
Specifically, doctors, midwives, nurses, health information managers and medical team leaders are needed for a period of between 4 weeks and 6 months.
If you are interested in joining this effort please visit the specific role requirements with either Save the Children or International Federation of the Red Cross. If you can give your time in this way, please do email us to let us know, as well as the support you will get from the agencies leading the fight against ebola in Sierra Leone, we will support you too.
Could you make a donation to support our work in West Africa?
VSO is also appealing for funds for our work in the region. Every gift will make a big difference. You can make a donation online now or by calling us on +44 (0)20 8780 7500.
Every penny raised will go to preventing the further spread of this disease as well as supporting the families and the communities affected.