December 7, 2014

This Certainly cuts through the Me, Me, Me Mentality of Holiday Materialism.

tom CDC ebola

I wonder how many brave North Americans have the heart, skill and willingness to train to be of help in containing the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

Forty Canadian doctors are about to be deployed for Sierra Leone for two months starting this December.

These are teams of Canadian military medical specialists. Sierra Leone continues to be the epicenter of the fight. But Canada and the West have been slow to meet this challenge, while much smaller countries like Cuba arrived at the scene with doctors and what equipment they had almost immediately.

Ebola has sickened more than 17,000 people, the majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The UN health agency said another Sierra Leone doctor who has been working tirelessly for months has now become infected with Ebola.

The Canadian government is asking private health-care workers to join the fight. It seems it cannot spare more than the 40 military doctors. And fear of the virus seems to have immobilized so many nurses and doctors who could otherwise volunteer.

Ebola MSF Military

This is a risky assignment, not a typical one.

But those doctors working with Doctors without Borders have felt safe because of the training offered. And volunteer nurses can be deployed through the Red Cross, which is willing to train for the assignment as well. The Red Cross in Canada and elsewhere offers volunteer nurses three weeks of training, three weeks in West Africa, followed by two weeks of “rest” once the nurses are back home.

Again, I wonder: how many brave North American nurses and doctors there are, who have the heart and willingness to train to help contain Ebola in West Africa?

I seem to remember Jesus saying, “Blessed are the meek…Blessed are the merciful…Blessed are the peacemakers…Let your light so shine before men, that they will see your good works.”

sierra leone children

That certainly cuts through the me, me, me mentality of holiday materialism.

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Author: Linda Lewis

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: CDC Global/Flickr, OCanada.com, Julien Harneis/Flickr

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