Category : Liberia

My favorite story of the week–Wilmot Collins Is Montana’s First African-American Mayor from NBC

Watch it all– America at its best, great stuff.

Posted in City Government, Liberia

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Right Reverend Samuel David Ferguson (1842-1916)

Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant Samuel Ferguson and inspire in him a missionary vision of thy Church in education and ministry: Stir up in us through his example a zeal for a Church, alive with thy Holy Word, reaching forth in love and service to all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Liberia, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Alexander Crummell (1819-1898)

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Alexander Crummell, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to those who were far off and to those who were near. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land evangelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Church History, Liberia, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Right Reverend Samuel David Ferguson (1842-1916)

Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant Samuel Ferguson and inspire in him a missionary vision of thy Church in education and ministry: Stir up in us through his example a zeal for a Church, alive with thy Holy Word, reaching forth in love and service to all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Africa, Anglican Province of West Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Liberia, Spirituality/Prayer

Fresh Ebola Cases Damp Liberia Hopes of Eliminating Deadly Disease

Nurses at a downtown Monrovia hospital were about to punch out from work late one November afternoon when a feverish teenager, convulsing and bleeding from his mouth, stumbled into the waiting room.

For Mosoka Fallah, the boy’s symptoms pointed in a grimly familiar direction. He drove off””speeding in the wrong lane and dodging head-on traffic””to a meeting of government officials in the center of the capital, where he burst into the room with the news: Ebola is back.

Twice this year, Liberia, the worst hit of all Ebola-affected nations with at least 4,800 deaths blamed on the disease, has been declared Ebola-free, only to see new cases appear. Liberian officials and medical researchers now wonder how soon their country and its neighbors will be completely rid of the scourge.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Liberia

(BBC) Liberia's new Ebola outbreak spreads

Two more cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Liberia following the death of a teenager from the virus on Sunday, officials say.

The country had been declared Ebola-free more than seven weeks ago.

Both of the new cases were in Nedowein, the same village where the boy died, the ministry of information says.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Liberia

(BBC) New Ebola case marks disease's return to Liberia

The body of a dead Liberian man has tested positive for Ebola – the country’s first reported case since it was declared free of the disease.

Deputy health minister Tolbert Nyenswah said tests confirmed that the 17-year-old man, from a town near the main airport, had died of the disease.

Officials are investigating how he contracted Ebola, Mr Nyenswah said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Liberia, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

(UMNS) Divorced clergy barred from nomination as bishop in Liberia

Efforts to overturn a long-standing provision barring divorced clergy nomination for bishop in The United Methodist Church in Liberia were rejected by conference delegates on April 18. United Methodists who wanted the ban lifted picketed with homemade signs and sang, halting one afternoon session of the conference.

During the 182nd Session of the Liberia Conference, delegates voted 433 to 24 to affirm the rule barring divorced clergy persons from the episcopal office. Six delegates abstained from the voting process.

Those opposed to the bar argued the provision violated the rights of individuals who wanted to run for the episcopal office, since the bar is not in the Book of Discipline.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liberia, Marriage & Family, Methodist, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Ebola outbreak: Liberia has no new cases for a week

Liberia has gone a week without reporting any new cases of Ebola, the first time such a milestone has been reached since May 2014, the World Health Organization says.

But officials say there have been 132 new cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone in the week to 1 March.

They have warned that populations are so mobile in the area that there could easily be fresh outbreaks in Liberia.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Pastoral Theology, Sierra Leone, Theology

An NPR Story on Ebola and Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington DC

On a typical Sunday, the pews in Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. are almost full. But a few months ago, the large stone church with stained glass windows in northwest Washington, D.C. began looking rather empty. Roughly a quarter of the congregation ”” 50 people ”” had stopped showing up.

At first, [the] Rev. John Harmon, the head of the church, wasn’t sure what was going on. Then he started getting phone calls from parishioners. “Some folks called to say, I’m not coming to church because I don’t know who’s traveling [to West Africa],” Harmon says.

The congregation at Trinity is an international crowd. More than 20 countries are represented, including several in West Africa. Reverend Harmon himself was born in Liberia before moving to the U.S. in 1982, when he was 18.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes, Theology

(NYT) Ebola Doctors Are Divided on IV Therapy in Africa

Medical experts seeking to stem the Ebola epidemic are sharply divided over whether most patients in West Africa should, or can, be given intravenous hydration, a therapy that is standard in developed countries. Some argue that more aggressive treatment with IV fluids is medically possible and a moral obligation. But others counsel caution, saying that pushing too hard would put overworked doctors and nurses in danger and that the treatment, if given carelessly, could even kill patients.

The debate comes at a crucial time in the outbreak. New infections are flattening out in most places, better-equipped field hospitals are opening, and more trained professionals are arriving, opening up the possibility of saving many lives in Africa, rather than a few patients flown to intensive care units thousands of miles away.

The World Health Organization sees intravenous rehydration, along with constant measuring of blood chemistry, as the main reason that almost all Ebola patients treated in American and European hospitals have survived, while about 70 percent of those treated in West Africa have died.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone

(GR) Five glimpses of faith in Time's story on 'The Ebola Fighters' as 2014 Person of the Year

Is there a religion angle on this story? Of course. Kudos to Time for making that abundantly clear.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Media, Religion & Culture, Sierra Leone

(BBC) Ebola outbreak: West Africa death toll nears 7,000

The number of people killed by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 6,928, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

The toll has increased by over 1,000 since the WHO’s last report on Wednesday, but it includes unreported deaths from earlier in the outbreak.

Experts say the infection rate is more significant that the death toll, as it reflects how the virus is spreading.

Infection rates are decreasing in Liberia, but are high in Sierra Leone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

60 Minutes Excellent Segment from Last night–The Ebola Hot Zone

Liberia lies just north of the equator and is home to part of the last great rainforest in West Africa, where the Ebola virus thrives in tropical, humid conditions.

With their hospitals overwhelmed, special centers for the sick, called Ebola treatment units, are being built as fast as possible. One of them is run by an American relief-group, the International Medical Corps — where Lara Logan, who is currently self-quarantined for 21 days, reported this story.

To get to the Ebola treatment unit, we traveled north from the Liberian capital along pitted roads toward the border with neighboring Guinea where this outbreak began. American virologist Joseph Fair, who’s been here for most of the epidemic, came with us.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Poverty, Theology

(W Post) As Ebola infections drop, Liberian capital reawakens

On a dirt field between two tall plum trees, barefoot young women played a surprisingly ferocious game of kickball one evening this week. Sweating in the heat and humidity despite the approach of dusk, they battled with the pent-up energy of teens who have been stuck at home too long.

A crowd of 100, maybe more, gathered to watch. Huge speakers blared the Ghanain hip-hop of Sargo D, making conversation nearly impossible. The spectators stood closely together. Some danced, some moved more subtly to the music. Had there been food and drink, this gathering in Monrovia’s Capitol Hill neighborhood could have been a block party.

Barely six or seven weeks ago, it also would have been impossible.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Politics in General, Psychology, Teens / Youth, Theology

(NYT) Researchers Seek Crucial Tool: A Fast, Finger-Prick Ebola Test

Searching for a new way to attack Ebola, companies and academic researchers are now racing to develop faster and easier tests for determining whether someone has the disease.

Such tests might require only a few drops of blood rather than a test tube of it, and provide the answer on the spot, without having to send the sample to a laboratory.

The tests could be essential in West Africa, where it can take days for a sample to travel to one of the relatively few testing laboratories, leaving those suspected of having the disease in dangerous limbo.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(LC) Patrick Hayes–Ebola Ravages Sierra Leone

For average Sierra Leoneans, the timing of the Ebola crisis could not be worse. It is the rainy season and, thanks to government-sanctioned quarantines, crop harvests are at a low. The price of food has skyrocketed and forced people to go into the bush for food and firewood. Quarantined areas such as Waterloo, about 20 miles east of Freetown, have seen severe food shortages, and the United Nations Food Program has had to step in to provide rice to thousands of residents there, many of whom were queuing up shoulder-to-shoulder in public areas ”” precisely the kind of gathering a quarantine is meant to prevent. Add to this the further dependence on the world community for survival and the demoralization of the people takes deeper root.

Economic forces are also jeopardizing national stability. Growth rates ”” in some sectors topping 15 percent in investments in the last few years ”” have been obliterated. London Mining, one of the key contracts secured by the Sierra Leonean government during this period, has announced it will be going into bankruptcy. The extractives industry is not what it used to be and stock for the London-based company tumbled dramatically in the last year as the price of iron ore declined. As a result, the company is reneging on a covenant with the people of Sierra Leone for thousands of jobs at its mine in Marampa and a needed injection of tax revenue.

When young people are unemployed and desperate, mischief occurs. In the southeastern city of Bo, for instance, crime ”” too often violent crime ”” has been rising. With police now occupied in responding to calls from infected households or keeping the curious away from dead bodies, they cannot monitor the city as before.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Politics in General, Poverty, Science & Technology

(NYT) Liberia’s Ebola Crisis Puts President in Harsh Light

The president waited until her family members were seated around the dining table before announcing, with no fanfare, the latest defection from her cabinet.

“I lost my justice minister today,” she said, picking up a spoon before heading out to visit Ebola treatment units.

As the table erupted with questions, the president, having said all that she intended to, finished up her lunch of Libby’s tinned corned beef and rice ”” the Liberian equivalent of ramen noodles ”” and rose.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Politics in General, Theology

(Post-Gazette) Ebola outbreak fails to generate donations for emergency aid

After a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti in January 2010, unsolicited checks immediately poured into Brother’s Brother Foundation ”” a North Side nonprofit that collects and ships medical supplies to hospitals and clinics worldwide and focuses on places in need of emergency aid.

But in the months since the Ebola virus crisis has dominated news reports, Brothers’ Brother has received, on average, one $25 check per day for Ebola relief efforts.

“It’s just not [generating] the same volume compared to other international disasters,” said Karen Dempsey, vice president of development and administration for the nonprofit, which last week loaded a 40-foot container headed to Sierra Leone in West Africa with face masks, protective gowns, gloves and medical supplies donated by hospitals.

While the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Sandy, the Indian Ocean tsunami and other tragedies raised millions of dollars for victims within days after they occurred and inspired celebrities to organize benefit concerts broadcast during prime time, nonprofits that provide assistance for the Ebola outbreak relief say the public has been slow to step up and donate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Sierra Leone

(VOA) US Envoy Samantha powers: 'Staggering' Need in Ebola Response

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called attention to the need for a greater response to the Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa.

Samantha Power posted on Twitter early Monday, after spending a day in Guinea, that the “scale of need is staggering” and that the “most basic resources will help save lives.”

She is on a multistop tour this week of the worst-hit countries, including Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Power also highlighted the efforts of those already working in Guinea to treat patients, build treatment facilities and educate people, including Doctors Without Borders and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Archbishop of York urges worship in 'small groups'

People of faith in countries struggling to combat the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola should not meet in large numbers, the UK’s Archbishop of York has said.

Dr John Sentamu, a senior Anglican cleric, urged people in countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia to practice their faith alone or in small groups, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Read it all (video also available).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Mali, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Church Times) Ebola victims feel ”˜forsaken’ says Liberian R C Bishop Fallah Borwah

Sufferers from of the Ebola virus in West Africa believe that “God has forsaken them”, a Liberian Roman Catholic bishop, the Rt Revd Anthony Fallah Borwah, has said.

Bishop Borwah was prevented from attending Pope Francis’s recent synod on the family because of the travel ban on countries affected by the virus.

He urged his fellow bishops, and the Church, to remember that it was the poor who are their priority, and said that whole families were being “decimated”.

Speaking to the US Catholic News Service, he said: “We are losing our humanity in the face of Ebola. . . This disease makes impossible ordinary human kindnesses, such as putting your arm around someone who is crying.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

(NBC) Katie Meyler an American heroine fighting ebola in Liberia–a heartening story

Talk to Katie Meyler for 30 seconds and you understand why children love her. The 32-year-old from Bernardsville, New Jersey, is as effervescent as a shaken bottle of soda, with an infectious laugh and boundless energy.

Then consider where she works: Monrovia, the capital of Liberia and the capital of the Ebola epidemic devastating West Africa. For nine years, Katie has used her skills and passion to try to improve the lives of kids in this impoverished nation of 4 million people. Last year, she opened the More Than Me girls academy, the first tuition-free school in West Point, one of Monrovia’s poorest neighborhoods.

Ebola has forced the government to close the academy and all other schools to try to stop the epidemic. Undaunted, Meyler is now using her building and resources to help those children victimized twice by the disease, the children who are now orphans and outcasts within their own community.

Read it all and watch the whole video report.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Poverty, Women, Young Adults

(BBC) Ebola serum for Africa patients within weeks, says WHO

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization.

Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people.

Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone

Ebola In Church: The Reverend's Quarantine Spreads The Word

Since Ebola broke out in Liberia’s capital city, more people have started coming to Sunday service at Trinity Cathedral, says the Very Rev. Herman Browne. And like many priests across Monrovia, Browne has been spreading the word about Ebola prevention through his sermons.

But Browne’s message this week was personal. It came from his family’s encounter with the virus.

For the past three Sundays, the reverend had been under a volunteer quarantine. This week he returned to the pulpit and explained to his congregation what happened.

It all began when his wife, Trokon Browne, went to see a close friend. “The friend … broke down, fell on the floor and started to cry,” Herman said. “Some illness had returned to her, and she was explaining it to Trokon.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Liberia, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(NYT) In Layers of Gear, Offering Healing Hand to Ebola Patients in Liberia

The first time Dr. Steven Hatch suited up in protective gear at an Ebola treatment center, he was confronted with the weight of his decision to volunteer here. A patient, sweating and heavily soiled, had collapsed in a corridor. “Literally every surface of his body was covered in billions of particles of Ebola,” he recalled.

The physician introducing him to the routine, Dr. Pranav Shetty, said they needed to get the man back to bed, so they picked him up. Dr. Shetty focused on calming the patient, who would not live through the night. He diluted a Valium tablet in water, and cut some intravenous tubing into a crude straw for him to sip.

“It was a beautiful moment because I was like, he’s a doctor, he was taking care of his patients,” said Dr. Hatch, an American volunteer. “That’s what we do here.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Theology

Keep Perspective and Learn the Ebola Facts–17 cases treated outside of W Africa

At least 17 Ebola cases have been treated outside of West Africa in the current outbreak, including two Dallas hospital workers who have tested positive for Ebola. Most of these involve health and aid workers who contracted Ebola in West Africa and were transported back to their home country for treatment. Four cases were diagnosed outside of West Africa: A Liberian man who began showing symptoms four days after arriving in Dallas, a Spanish nurse who became ill after treating a missionary in a Madrid hospital and the two Dallas hospital workers who were involved in the treatment of the Liberian man. These cases are compiled from reports by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders and other official agencies.

Read it all and examine the map.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Media, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

The missionary nurse who survived the deadly virus says medicine alone won't cure W Africa

What is a Liberian hospital like during an epidemic?

In many of the hospitals, there was no protective gear, and nurses were working without gloves and masks. We [SIM] had the advantage of being partnered with Samaritan’s Purse, which had flown in everything we needed to protect our healthcare workers. But still there was fear of being in an isolation unit and working with people. It took time before nurses could see that, yes, they could be protected and go in and come back out and be disinfected.

How did culture affect how you provided health care?

It was hard on families, if they had a patient or family members who were dying of Ebola, to not be able to touch the bodies if they did pass away. In African culture, customarily, after death they do a body washing, so there’s a lot of touching. Once a person dies, that’s when the viral load is at its peak.

David: There’s also a good deal of stigma from the community. People would not take their family members to an isolation unit because they knew it would be regarded as a death sentence. Instead, they would try to keep them hidden at home.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Missions, Theology

(BBC) Ebola epidemic 'could lead to failed states', warns WHO

The Ebola epidemic threatens the “very survival” of societies and could lead to failed states, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

The outbreak, which has killed some 4,000 people in West Africa, has led to a “crisis for international peace and security”, WHO head Margaret Chan said.

She also warned of the cost of panic “spreading faster than the virus”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, History, Liberia, Nigeria, Psychology, Sierra Leone, Theology

CDC: Ebola could infect 1.4 million in Liberia and Sierra Leone by end of January

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, already ghastly, could get worse by orders of magnitude, killing hundreds of thousands of people and embedding itself in the human population for years to come, according to two worst-case scenarios from scientists studying the historic outbreak.

The virus could potentially infect 1.4 million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday. That number came just hours after a report in the New England Journal of Medicine warned that the epidemic might never be fully controlled and that the virus could become endemic, crippling civic life in the affected countries and presenting an ongoing threat of spreading elsewhere.

Read it all.

Update: The elves also recommend the latest post on Ebola at Lent & Beyond, with a graph showing the cumulative number of cases of Ebola in West Africa. There are also suggested prayer points, and links to donate to several charities on the frontlines in the Ebola struggle.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology