IFRC health workers start the day praying with Ebola patients in the outside area in front of their tents (October 2014)
As we step into the 9th month of the most serious Ebola outbreak in history that first started at Guinea in March 2014, the epidemic has subsequently spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal with one imported case from Liberia and associated locally acquired cases in healthcare workers in USA. The total number of reported cases has reached over ten thousand people and resulted in nearly 5,000 deaths, most of them coming from severely affected Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The grave situation is believed to worsen in the coming months – it is estimated that there will be as many as 1.4 million cases by the end of January 2015 (if corrections for underreporting are made) unless robust interventions take place.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been regarded as the highest reward on human morality. This year prize is to be awarded to two fighters on human rights, who spare no efforts to protect children and youth from suppression and actively fight for the rights of children. According to the press release of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, 60% of the present population in the poor countries of the world is under 25 years of age. Children must go to school and not be financially exploited. It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.
People in Hong Kong are no strangers to the fear and devastation caused by an epidemic. In 2003, Hong Kong recorded a total of 1,755 SARS cases which led to 299 deaths, in which 8 were health workers. After a decade, health workers in West Africa are facing life-threatening work environment as they care for Ebola patients. Over 120 health workers in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone have so far died of Ebola, and the infected number has grown by more than double. These are unprecedented figures according to World Health Organization (WHO).
[ePrayer – Pray for the situation of undocumented children]
It is estimated that there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million irregular migrants in the European Union. Many of them are children. Most come from other European countries like Turkey, Hungary and Romania, but a large number also come from Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. The reason for migration includes family reunification, protection from persecution, better living conditions, education and economic opportunities. A large number of these undocumented children, mostly from Hungary and Romania, are also victims of trafficking. They can be exploited in prostitution, forced labour, organised begging and can be compelled to commit crimes. [IPS]
Pray for the situation of undocumented children:
Pray that the basic human rights of these Europe’s ‘invisible’ children can be protected.
Pray also that they can have access to education, healthcare and shelter.
Pray that there can be effective measures to combat human trafficking and to reduce the risk of children.