National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone bans Christmas, New Year's celebrations to prevent spread of Ebola

The government of Sierra Leone banned public Christmas and New Year's celebrations because they may exacerbate efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus.

President Ernest Bai Koroma said that despite immense help from the international community, the number of people infected with the virus continues to rise.

Ebola infections in Sierra Leone recently surpassed those of Liberia and Guinea.

Is updated Band Aid charity song demeaning to Africans?

Some church leaders are criticizing a British musicians' charity group raising funds for the West African Ebola crisis, saying its new single reinforces negative stereotypes of Africa.

Band Aid, which was started 30 years ago by Bob Geldof, has re-recorded the charity title, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

The song was first recorded in 1984 to raise money to help victims of the Ethiopia famine.

CRS manages 'safe and dignified' burials of Sierra Leone Ebola victims

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Burials that are dignified and safe are urgently needed for Ebola victims in West Africa, where corpses are frequently left unattended for days and then thrown into graves without ceremony, a U.S. church aid official said.

"So many people are dying that there has not been the capacity to respond" to burial needs in an appropriate way and "we are now making this a priority," Michael Stulman, regional information officer for the U.S. bishops' Catholic Relief Services, said in a telephone interview from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Ebola outbreak: How you can help

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There have been 8,033 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola and more than 3,879 deaths attributed to the current outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organization reports.

The first man to be diagnosed with Ebola in the USA died Wednesday.

Aid workers are providing everything from medical care to protective gear to education as the Ebola virus continues to spread.

How can you help?

How superstition may thwart Ebola's eradication in Guinea

Church leaders in West Africa are raising concerns over sporadic violence that has killed one of their own and frustrated efforts to stem the Ebola epidemic.

The violence took a dangerous turn last week in a remote village in southeast Guinea, when fearful villagers killed eight members of a disinfection and awareness team, including an evangelical church pastor.

Church workers fight fear, myths as Ebola worsens in Sierra Leone

It is hard for people in Sierra Leone not to lose hope as the death toll rises and worldwide fear grows over the worst Ebola outbreak on record, said the head of Caritas in the archdiocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

"Our situation is desperate," said Fr. Peter Konteh, executive director of Caritas.

In a telephone interview Wednesday from Freetown, Konteh said the mood of the West African country was bleak following the death Tuesday of the doctor who had been leading the country's fight against the highly contagious disease.

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In This Issue

December 5-18, 2014

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