We are now in the second weekend of COVID-19 lockdown in Norway. The date is 21.03.2020.
We are suddenly thrown into a new and frightening situation where the governments take drastic measures to contain the virus. For many of us this is scary and unknown territory but so far, we have food, electricity, healthcare and our societies are still up and running for all vital functions.
We think of other countries around the world that have experienced plagues, epidemics, drought, hunger, poverty and war frequently and survived with far less resources.
We work with one of them, Liberia, these wonderful people have seen two civil wars with atrocities beyond our imagination, Ebola epidemic with nearly no trained doctors in a period where they just started to get the society up and going again.
The wars lasted over a period of 14 years with brief spells of peace and ceasefires from 1989 to 2003. 200-250.000 Liberians were killed and 1,5 million had to flee their homes.
In early 2014 an epidemic of Ebola virus started with more than 10.000 infected and nearly 5.000 deaths. When the outbreak came the country had only 50 doctors for a population of 4,3 million. That is 86.000 people pr. doctor!
As a comparison Norway has today 22.700 licensed specialist, that is 238 people pr. doctor.
Today the situation in Liberia is better but is nowhere near our capacity in healthcare and we sincerely hope they will go free from yet another catastrophe. It will hit the poor countries very hard and they do don’t have the resources and personnel that the western world has to their disposal.
At the time this is written there are no confirmed cases of Corona infections in Liberia, but we all know that that number will change fast.
In 2014-1016 Giving Hope to a Child provided funds for disinfection and information to Liberia and have since worked in the country with education in rural areas and we know how fragile this society is for new hardships.