CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A Colorado non-profit is helping equip doctors and other people working to fight Ebola in West Africa but, while medical gear is on it’s way, missionaries and many local volunteers have had to put their trips on hold.
Project C.U.R.E., which is headquartered in Centennial, is the largest supplier of donated medical supplies to developing countries around the world and they are doing everything they can to get protective gear to West Africa right now.
“We know that a lot of people are pulling out right now,” said Jan Mazotti, Communications Director for Project C.U.R.E. “We are able to take the supplies from here in the United States and send them to our partners in West Africa.”
While the supplies are welcome, many other local charities have been forced to cancel mission trips because of the danger associated with the outbreak.
“it’s quite disturbing,” said Les Law, founder of S.E.E.D., a charity based in Sierra Leone, which stands for Salone Enabling and Empowering Development.
After living in the area for part of his life, Law helped start a clinic in the region and regularly sends teams of volunteers to the country. He says the Ebola Virus forced him to cancel a trip with 25 volunteers back in June.
“As it turns out, it was a wise decision because the disease just started spreading out of control,” Law said.
Law says his friends who live in the area tell him the main obstacle now is building trust between West Africans and the medical teams sent in to help stop the virus.
“It’s a hard thing to overcome because there’s so much fear and mistrust in those areas,” Law said. “Especially when you have a bunch of white people in space suits coming in saying you can’t do some of the traditional things you’ve always done.”
Though those suits may instill some fear, Mazotti says they are also critical to fighting the outbreak.
“You can’t save lives if you don’t have those docs and nurses to do that and that’s what that protective gear does is keep them safe,” Mazotti said.
Project C.U.R.E. is looking monetary donations and for medical supplies like surgical gloves, gowns, goggles, boots and other consumable products. They also need Duct Tape for helping doctors seal any exposed areas, while treating those with Ebola.
For more information on how to give, go to: ProjectCure.org