BAMAKO, Mali (February 5, 2015) — World Vision received its first donation of personal protective equipment in Mali Thursday, said the Christian humanitarian organization. Two 20-foot metal shipping containers arrived in the country carrying respirators, surgical and face masks, syringes, lab coats and other protective gear. The goods will be used by Mali’s Ministry of Health to protect its frontline health staff. Mali was declared Ebola-free on January 18, but World Vision remains vigilant.
“Our prayer is that no other frontline medical worker — or anyone else throughout the country — becomes infected by Ebola again,” said Chance Briggs, World Vision’s national director in Mali. “We are working diligently to protect and prevent the virus from attacking us here.”
Mali shares a border with Guinea, and it is believed that is where the first Malian Ebola patient contracted the virus. Because of the highly contagious nature of the virus, the geographical proximity of the outbreak, and the regular cross-border travel between neighboring countries, Malians remain on high alert. To date, the deadly virus has killed more than 8,600 people in West Africa — six of whom are from Mali.
The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) helped World Vision cover some of the transportation costs for the shipping containers. OFDA and World Vision are also partnering together in several communities on the Mali-Guinea border, focusing on strengthening the local health systems and preventing new cases of the virus from appearing.
In addition to the donated emergency health supplies, World Vision provided training to 80 pastors, imams, and health workers to provide them with prevention and protection messages to share with their communities. Following these workshops, the newly-trained community leaders shared the public health messages with more than 300,000 people in Gao, Segou, Koro, Kolokani, and Bamako. The aid agency will continue these awareness-raising workshops in the next several months and will work closely with Mali’s Ministry of Health to support case identification and contact tracing should the virus reappear in Mali.
World Vision has worked in Mali since 1982 and currently has programs in 6 regions around the country. In 2014, the organization helped more than 2 million people through its work in education, health, child protection, food security, emergency relief, and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
– END –
About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.
- Aid agency received first shipment of personal protective equipment Thursday.
- Goods will be used by Mali’s Ministry of Health to protect frontline staff.