Fazer is contributing to an Ebola fund-raising campaign organised by the international chocolate industry which donates over 700,000 USD to the International Red Cross and Caritas. Through the Finnish Red Cross’ “Chain Reaction” challenge, Fazer’s employees raised 6,750 euros for health work in Kenya. In addition, Fazer has donated 10,000 euros to the Finnish Red Cross to be used, for example, to purchase kitchen supply packages for families suffering from Ebola.
The West African Ebola epidemic is the worst the world has ever known. The West African healthcare resources were weak to begin with, and the lack of information about Ebola among healthcare providers has further impaired the healthcare resources. The virus can spread more quickly due to the fact that people increasingly travel both within their home countries and abroad.
The Red Cross has been involved since the outbreak of the epidemic. The Red Cross operates on a wide basis and concentrates on the community level, disseminating information, for example, by means of home visits, drama and radio transmission; locating cases of infection and following up on people exposed to the Ebola virus; taking care of the bodies of those who have died from Ebola; providing psychosocial support and increasing local preparedness.
The Finnish Red Cross’ aid workers have been involved with fighting Ebola since April. Patients infected and people possibly infected by Ebola are treated in the Red Cross Ebola clinic. The clinic was opened in Kenema, Sierra Leone in September and it can treat some 80 patients. The clinic is staffed by around 20 international aid workers and 120 local workers. There is a lack of healthcare personnel in the area, so international support is vitally important.
Additional resources are needed to disseminate information about the virus, to monitor people who have been exposed to the virus and to safely bury deceased patients.
Photo: Red Cross/Katherine Mueller