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Rotary Club Fights Against Ebola

Mike-DavisThe fight against Ebola and other diseases takes a group effort. Mike Davis, a member of the Elizabethtown Rotary Club, gave an update at the club’s weekly meeting on the Ebola outbreak and Rotary involvement. To date there have been 8,500 deaths due to Ebola.  “It had the potential to be millions of deaths. How does Rotary Club come into the Ebola issue? Rotarians tried to help meet the need.”  Davis said.

Rotary Clubs across the world have pitched in to assist in many different ways with the Ebola issue. The Rotary Club of Monrovia with support from Rotary Club of Marlow, England, is distributing buckets in local communities, as well as food for quarantined families. Communication and education is important in trying to stop an epidemic. Educational flyers and classes were given by Rotarians. The local hospital did not have a fax machine, so Rotary bought them a fax machine to assist in their communication efforts.

Donations of medical supplies were also donated by many different Rotary Clubs. Through Polio Plus, Rotary has laid the groundwork for the response to a disease such as Ebola.  Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids such as saliva, sweat, urine or vomit. The disease has even changed the way people in West Africa greet.  No handshakes, no embraces are exchanged now. In a place where physical contact is strongly discouraged now blowing kisses, waves, bowing heads toward each other, and shaking their feet are some of the ways affection is now shown.

North Carolina has the 12th highest West African population in the United States.  “We have been preparing locally.  We have our plans in place and have even had an exercise.  “We are ready as much as we can be,” says Cris Harrelson, Bladen County Health Director.  “I think we have gotten past the fear of the unknown,” Harrelson explained in reference to the Ebola outbreak.

The CDC has a page dedicated to keeping the public educated about Ebola.  You may visit www.cdc.gov to get a snapshot of where we are with Ebola.  When you give to The Rotary Foundation, you can designate your gift to support one of Rotary’s top priorities, including disease prevention and treatment.  For more information on visit www.rotary.org.

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