By Laura Stovel, Special to the Times Review
At this time of Thanksgiving in our beautiful town with the many opportunities and services we take for granted, it is hard to relate to a place on the other side of the globe where health care services are minimal, schools are shut down and warm, social people must shy away from friends and loved ones.
The ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia has given a devastating blow to three of the poorest countries on earth. The virus spreads through the exchange of body fluids — imagine touching someone contagious and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. It hits nurses, doctors and caregivers the hardest as they are the ones who tend to ebola victims.
The international medical charity Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been at the forefront of the fight against this ebola outbreak. Volunteer medical workers from around the world have courageously worked alongside local health workers to treat patients. Several contracted the virus despite wearing extensive protective gear in the intense West African heat.
MSF, the World Health Organization and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, have been calling to the international community for help. Revelstoke has an opportunity to respond.
On Saturday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m., an ebola film screening and fundraiser for MSF will be held at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre. The film, Ebola War, produced by Canadian filmmaker David Belluz, shows the effect of an ebola outbreak on a hospital in Gulu, in northern Uganda. The Ugandan doctors and nurses struggle to treat victims and contain the disease without the protective gear and help that are now coming to West Africa. While some of their colleagues contract the disease and die, the others kept going, despite the risks to themselves and their families.
After the 45-minute film, a panel will respond to questions about MSF and Sierra Leone. Dr. Richard Currie has been on five MSF missions. Laura Stovel, and Erin and Travis Wilkins lived and worked in Sierra Leone and continue to have frequent contact with friends there.
All proceeds go to Medécins Sans Frontières. Viewers can also contribute to local Sierra Leonean initiatives. The suggested donation at the door is $5. Those who donate $10 or more can receive a tax receipt from MSF.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-814-8971.