First patients being treated at the Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone

Aapo Huhta
Red Cross volunteers and employees preparing to retrieve the body of a 28-year-old woman suspected of having been infected with Ebola in the village of Lalehu in the Kailahun district.
Image: Aapo Huhta

The Ebola epidemic is showing no signs of slowing down. You can support the Red Cross’s aid efforts by making a contribution to the Hunger Day Collection, which will begin on Thursday, 18 September.

On Hunger Day, you can contribute
  • by donating to a collection box
  • by phoning 0600 12220 (€20.28 per call + local network charge)
  • by sending a text message "SPR" to the number 16499. The text message donation price is €15.
  • through MobilePay, using the number 040 135 88 00

The Red Cross opened its Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone this Saturday. The clinic’s help is sorely needed and the pressure to admit patients is high.

Work at the clinic is being planned one day at a time, says the Red Cross’ healthcare advisor Tiina Saarikoski, currently in Sierra Leone. Saarikoski is the manager of the International Red Cross clinic.

”We are currently treating 5–6 patients at a time and gradually admitting more patients. The clinic is the Red Cross’ very first Ebola clinic, so it is important to make sure that we are doing everything right and operating safely”, says Saarikoski.

The construction of the clinic is still being finalised as patients are being treated. At maximum capacity, the clinic will be able to treat 60 patients at a time. The Ebola operation currently employs three aid workers from the Finnish Red Cross: a healthcare advisor, a nurse and a logistician.

”We will be needing more staff, especially once we start admitting more patients. In addition to care personnel, we have workers carrying out logistical tasks. Since the clinic is located outside the city, the care personnel must be transported to the clinic for their work shifts and back to the city afterwards.”

The current epidemic spreading in the areas of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone is the worst Ebola epidemic in history. According to the United Nations’ World Health Organisation, the current number of infected is approximately 4,400 and the number of fatalities is approximately 2,200 (as of 12 September).

Hunger Day Collection to help aid efforts

You can support the Red Cross’ work in West Africa by donating to the Hunger Day Collection, which will begin on Thursday, 18 September. The Hunger Day collection will be organised all over Finland, and everyone is welcome to take part as a collector or donor.

During the Hunger Day Collection, collection centres will be set up in the largest cities in Finland, where you can pick up a collection box and vest without registering in advance. Prospective collectors must present a valid photo ID at the centre. All the collection points can be found at www.nälkäpäivä.fi (in Finnish).

The Hunger Day Collection held from 18 to 20 September collects uncommitted funds for the Finnish Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund. These funds are used to quickly help the victims of natural disasters and conflicts around the world. The funds are also used to help the victims of sudden accidents in Finland.