PreciousForYou management presents an Ebola Awareness Gospel Concert on the 20th of
September, 2014 at the Jubilee Christian Centre, No. 1 Penarth Street off IIderton Road, London
SE15 1TX by 4pm.
The Concert which is expected to feature PRECIOUSFORYOU (Convener), Ms Carol Jiani, Mrs Lena
Marshall, Youth Choir, Mrs Jamesetta Taylor, Minister Amazin, Michael Agyei, Provai, Sister Mabel
& Liberian UK Band ft. Emmanuel Koffa, Harry E, Isumel – Fusion First, is a charity and awareness
campaign on the Ebola Virus Spread in some parts of the world.
Donations and contributions will be made towards the course at the venue of the event.
Refreshments and drinks will be made available to all attendees.
Following successful tests of Ebola vaccine on monkeys, human trials have begun in the United States and will be extended to the United Kingdom and to Africa, according to a BBC report.
The experiments by the US National Institutes of Health showed immunity could last at least 10 months. Vaccinated monkeys have developed “long-term” immunity to the Ebola virus, raising a prospect of successful human trials, scientists say.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 2,000 people have now died in the outbreak in West Africa.
There are several experimental treatments are to help contain the spread of Ebola including a vaccine being developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, reports say.
It uses a genetically modified chimp virus containing components of two species of Ebola – Zaire, which is currently circulating in West Africa, and the common Sudan species.
The viral vaccine does not replicate inside the body, but it is hoped the immune system will react to the Ebola component of the vaccine and develop immunity.
This outbreak of Ebola has claimed seven lives with 21 infections in Nigeria since the index patient, a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer brought the deadly disease to Nigeria in July 2014. Nigeria has recorded the best containment of the spread of the disease.
The United States Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has raised alarm about some drugs being peddled online claiming to treat or prevent the Ebola virus.
The warning came after Nigeria’s minister of health, Onyebuchi Chukwu announced that 8 Ebola patients in Lagos were to be given another experimental drug, “Nanosilver’ reportedly produced by a Nigerian in diaspora.
FDA spokeswoman, Erika Jefferson did not name any of the products in her warning neither could she provide further information about the drug referred to by the Chukwu.
Silver has been used as an antibacterial for centuries. Tiny silver particles known as nano-silver have controversially been incorporated into a variety of consumer products such as socks and bedding to help block odors caused by bacteria and mold.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers nano-silver a pesticide. Manufacturers of products that contain it must register them with the agency.
Nano-silver is also sometimes sold online as a dietary supplement even though Danish researchers found in a recent study that nano-silver can penetrate and damage cells.
The FDA regulates dietary supplements and said in its statement that “by law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.”
The agency said it had received consumer complaints about the Ebola claims.
“Individuals promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face potential FDA action,” the agency said.
The Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa has claimed 1,069 lives so far. Most have been in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Nigeria has confirmed 10 cases of the disease and four deaths.
Ebola is ravaging West Africa like a wildfire out of control.
By noon, my temperature had increased to 101.4. I took a rapid malaria test; it was negative–not a good sign. I called our team leader, who sent physician colleagues to my home in full protective gear.
After two more negative malaria tests, I knew I would be in isolation for at least three more days. Often the blood test for Ebola will remain negative for the first three days of illness, so we had to wait a few days for an accurate result. In the meantime, I grew sicker. My fever hit 104.9. I felt nauseated and began having diarrhea. Eventually the team started an IV in my arm and gave me fluids. We all hoped it could be dengue fever.
On the fourth day the team leader came to my bedroom window with news. “Kent, buddy, we have your test results. I am really sorry to tell you that it’s positive for Ebola.” I didn’t know what to think. I just asked, “So what’s our plan?”
In the middle of October 2013, I had moved to Monrovia with my wife Amber and two children. We planned to serve as medical missionaries with Samaritan’s Purse for two years. The first time I heard about the Ebola outbreak was at the end of March, at a picnic for expatriates living in the area. Someone asked if I had heard about the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. I had not, but within a couple of months I was one of only two doctors in Monrovia treating Ebola patients.
On June 11 our hospital, called ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa), received a call from the Ministry of Health. They were bringing two Ebola patients to our isolation unit. In the two hours it took for us to prepare everything, one of the patients died in the ambulance. Over the next month and a half the number of patients grew exponentially. We were overwhelmed.
On July 20, we opened a larger isolation unit and consolidated our smaller facility with the patients from another nearby hospital. That’s the same day I dropped off Amber and the kids at the airport to return to Texas for a family wedding. I was supposed to meet them a week later. But just three days after their departure, I got sick.
Even with the bad news, I felt calm. I never shed a tear when I called my wife and said, “Amber, my test is positive. I have Ebola.” Though the rest of my family wept, I felt strangely at peace. God blessed me with that peace that surpasses understanding. Since we had started treating patients with Ebola in Monrovia, we had only had one survivor. I had watched too many people die from this disease. Amber and I were both at the disadvantage of knowing how this illness ends.
At some point, I was told about an experimental drug. It had worked on monkeys, but had never been tested in humans. I agreed to receive it, but then decided that Nancy Writebol should get it first, since she was sicker. I was not trying to be a hero; I was making a rational decision as a doctor.
Over the next couple of days, though, my condition worsened. My body began shaking, my heart was racing. Nothing would bring down my temperature, and I had fluid in my lungs. I felt hot, nauseated, weak–everything was a blur. I had friends and colleagues praying outside my house–and all over the world. The doctor decided to give me the drug, and within an hour my body stabilized a bit. It was enough improvement for me to be safely evacuated to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
During my own care, I often thought about the patients I had treated. Ebola is a humiliating disease that strips you of your dignity. You are removed from family and put into isolation where you cannot even see the faces of those caring for you due to the protective suits–you can only see their eyes. You have uncontrollable diarrhea and it is embarrassing. You have to rely on others to clean you up. That is why we tried our best to treat patients like our own family. Through our protective gear we spoke to each patient, calling them by name and touching them. We wanted them to know they were valuable, that they were loved, and that we were there to serve them.
At Emory the doctors were able to see that my potassium level was low and replenish it–something that could not be done in Liberia and could have killed me. I finally cried for the first time when I saw my family members through a window and spoke to them over the intercom. I had not been sure I would ever see them again. When I finally recovered, the nurses excitedly helped me leave the isolation room, and I held my wife in my arms for the first time in a month.
Even when I was facing death, I remained full of faith. I did not want to be faithful to God all the way up to serving in Liberia for ten months, only to give up at the end because I was sick. Though we cannot return to Liberia right now, it is clear we have been given a new platform for helping the people of Liberia.
Ebola has changed everything in West Africa. We cannot sit back and say, “Oh, those poor people.” We must think outside the box and find ways to help. People are fearful of isolation units because “that is where you go to die.” They stay home instead and infect their families. Perhaps we need to find a way to provide safe home care that protects the caregivers. The national governments of West Africa are overwhelmed. They are not capable of handling this outbreak with simply a little help from some NGOs. This is a global problem and it requires the action of national governments around the world. We must take action to stop it–now.
Kent Brantly is a American doctor who works with the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse. He contracted the deadly Ebola Virus while treating patients in Liberia in July 2014. He survived the disease.