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What if you could save the lives of both a healthcare worker and a patient for just $2.50?
Michelle Niescierenko
Identity Verified
Boston, Massachusetts
United States
2 Team Members

Support our healthcare workers! Our first campaign raised over $16,000 

**See our updates for shipments on the way, the story of one of Liberia's finest doctors surviving ebola! 

A call to action for anyone who is, was or ever will be a patient and for emergency care workers world wide

Health care workers in emergency medicine and primary care are considered the frontlines of healthcare in the US. We're there when you need us and we're there for each other. Despite being on the “frontlines” this job that we love involves minimal risks here at home even though we occasionally fall victim to a cold or the dreaded stomach flu. Working abroad on the frontlines of healthcare our team of doctors from across the US have never felt so welcomed and embraced than in Liberia, West Africa. We have come to know and love the country, despite it being one of the smallest and poorest nations in the world.

I’m often asked “Why Liberia?” The answer – the people.

Despite their devastating civil war the people of Liberia have regained hope, optimism and the drive to put their country back together with a determination and spirit that should inspire others. The healthcare system in particular was virtually destroyed during the war and now 10 years later they have reestablished the training systems for physicians, physician assistants and nurses. These healthcare workers are on the frontlines for Liberia and its citizens combating disease in health clinics and hospitals every day.

The frontlines in Liberia look far different than here at home. The country’s 2 pediatricians are responsible for the care of 80 or more hospitalized children daily, the nurses work at a ratio of up to 1 nurse to 15 patients, the 2 physicians assistants care for 100+ outpatients daily and just 3 surgeons staff an operating room for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The frontlines in Liberia were always a little more dangerous for healthcare workers as compared to the US. There are risks of contracting vaccine preventable diseases like meningitis, diphtheria, pertussis or the tropical diseases lurking around every corner. The healthcare frontlines in Liberia have never been under attack - until now. Liberia, and its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea, have been attacked from within by the deadly Ebola Hemorrhagic Virus.

In a world where conflict and war is raging on across so many countries, this is a war with no sides and no fault. There were no instigators, there will be no winners but the victims are many. The number of people killed by Ebola in this three-country region is more than half the total number of deaths from all prior outbreaks in Africa combined. Healthcare workers are on the frontlines where the sick flock, their safety is in jeopardy while they charge straight into danger to care for their own people.

Ebola is a highly contagious virus with no cure and no vaccine that spreads easily through contact. In the people that it affects starts out like any cold with fever and vomiting but turns into deadly internal bleeding. Ebola infection has claimed the lives of 21 brave healthcare workers and infected over 37. Only 1 in 3 infected with the virus are expected to survive this deadly disease, making the frontlines of healthcare in Liberia as deadly as armed conflict. Yet these brave individuals put their lives on the line to treat emergencies, pregnant women, children and those with chronic disease. Healthcare cannot come to a halt while Liberia waits for Ebola to go away. What would happen? We are already starting to find out.

Clinics and hospitals are being forced to close due to lack of protective equipment for their staff. When facilities are closed what happens to the child who comes there for malaria treatment or asthma? What happens to the man with the incarcerated hernia or the women in obstructed labor? If the health facilities are not open they fall victim to the Ebola virus as well – the virus that caused these facilities to be closed and the staff to be unable to care for them.

The brave healthcare workers have a fierce determination to continue to care for patients risking their own lives and feel it is their national responsibility to take care of their own people. Never more so demonstrated than by the example of Dr. Samuel Brisbane an ER physician and director of the ER of one of the country's few hospitals who died from Ebola after contracting it from a patient. In a country with precious few healthcare workers – just 254 doctors and 1,200 nurses for 4.1 million people they need to be armed for their fight.

The arms needed in Liberia are not missiles or rockets. The arms Liberia needs are simple: gloves, gowns, masks and shoe covers for general screening and the Tyvek "space suits" seen on the news and in movies. This equipment allows healthcare workers to protect themselves and save the lives of patients. In a world with so many wars help Liberia fight its peaceful war against Ebola by saving the life a healthcare worker.

Help us put what’s needed in the hands of our friends and colleagues in Liberia by funding a country-wide initiative! 

One set of protective wear costs of $2.50

One set of Ebola treatment suits costs $80

How many healthcare workers will you save? 

We are partnering with existing in-country response efforts to take a 3 prong approach: 

1. Fund additional treatment centers as the current ones are overwhelmed with patients

2. Fund protective wear and training for Liberian healthcare workers in the hospitals 

3. Fund additional contact and quarantine tracing to help control and stop the outbreak. 

This is a joint effort between: 

Physicians from Boston Children's Hospital, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Baystate Medical Center & others in partnership with the Liberian Metro-Boston Association, The Worcester Liberian Association, Health Education and Relief Through Teaching (HEARTT). 

Why is our goal 250k? Because that is what it would take to protect healthcare workers, expand treatment facilities and contain this outbreak to end it and allow Liberia to continue to grow and develop! 

**if you were part of our first campaign that money is already in use to deliver equipment now to our friends and healthcare workers in Monrovia. 

raised by 366 people in 1 month
13% funded
No time left
$250,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 27, 2014
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