Leslie Scott, World Vision national director in Sierra Leone, says “the promised land” is in sight—and its “zero cases of Ebola.”
“Am I in the valley of the shadow of death, Lord?” I asked this question daily at the height of the Ebola crisis late last year.
Corpses lay in the streets. My heart raced every time I heard an ambulance, a reminder of yet another victim of the virus. Death seemed to be everywhere.
The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was the perfect storm: an unprecedented epidemic colliding with a collapsed healthcare system. In those early days, even the experts were unsure how to contain its rapid-fire spread.
Working with long-time partners, World Vision mobilized imams, pastors, and other community leaders to spread life-saving messages about Ebola prevention. World Vision also led a consortium of agencies that organized a highly effective and efficient system of response command centers in six of the country's districts.
We trained health workers and burial teams. We kept a fleet of 700 ambulances on the road. We distributed $500,000 worth of top-quality, personal-protective equipment, shipped from Canada and the U.S. to healthcare centers across the country. We have provided safe and dignified burials for more than 3,800 people.
And our efforts are working. People are preventing and surviving Ebola.
I’ve stopped asking God if we’re in the valley of the shadow of death.
The promised land is in sight—zero cases of Ebola in Sierra Leone. World Vision can be proud of our pioneering role in this battle.
Written by Leslie Scott
Photo@2014 Jonathan Bundu/World Vision