Africa Now September 24, 2014 Ebola Crisis in West Africa: Perspectives from the Ground and the Diaspora

Topic and Guests: Ebola Crisis in West Africa: Perspectives from the Ground and the Diaspora.  The West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been hit hard by the Ebola virus.   There have been 6,000 reported cases of Ebola and over 2,400 have died from this virus since it broke out in March.   Yesterday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicted there could be as many as 1.4 million cases in West Africa by January but World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there could be as many as 20,000 cases by November. Today Africa Now! will focus on the Ebola crisis in West Africa and what people on the ground and in the Diaspora are doing combat the virus with Mr. Ishmeal Alfred Charles, Dr. Dougbeh-Chris Nyan, and Mr. Samuel Kofi Woods, II.

Mr. Ishmeal Alfred Charles is Healey International Relief Foundation Program Manager in Sierra Leone working with Caritas-Freetown.  He currently leads 10 volunteers and 5 staff members with the joint HIRF/Caritas- Freetown “Ebola Awareness and Prevention Project” in 11 communities in the rural Western District of Sierra Leone.  Mr. Charles is a survivor of Sierra Leone’s 11 year brutal civil war in which he was captured by the rebels and forced to into service as a laborer to carry loads on his head whenever the rebels would go looting.  After the war Charles became a strong youth advocate by developing programs for post conflict youths.  He recently testified at a U.S. Senate Hearing on the Ebola outbreak in the West African Sub region.

Dr. Dougbeh-Chris Nyan

Dr. Dougbeh-Chris Nyan

Dr. Dougbeh-Chris Nyan, is a medical doctor and a biomedical research scientist of Liberian origin who specializes in infectious disease diagnostics.  Dr. Nyan currently heads the Diaspora Liberian Emergency Response Task Force on the Ebola Crisis, a conglomeration of Liberian professionals and Diaspora organizations in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and the Sub region.  His latest work on Hepatitis B virus diagnosis was recently published in the journal, “Clinical Infectious Diseases”.  Dr. Nyan is currently a scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  He recently testified at a U.S. House of Representative Subcommittee Hearing on the Ebola outbreak in the West African Sub region.

Mr. Samuel Kofi Woods, II, is the Legal Consultant of the Liberia Law Society, and is a renowned Human Rights Lawyer in his country and former minister.  The Liberia Law Society is a consortium of Lawyers and other development professionals who seek to transform the Liberian Society by using the law and non-violence.   Woods has been committed to more than 35 years of human rights work in Liberia, Africa and the World.  He was a student leader in the 1980s and in 1991 worked with the Catholic Bishops in Liberia to establish the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, which later became Liberia’s Foremost Human Rights Institution.  In the late 1990s he was forced into exile after threats were made against his life.  Mr. Woods is a recipient of several human rights awards.

Originally broadcast on WPFW 89.3FM, Washington, DC.  Tune into Africa Now! live on WPFW 89.3 FM in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area or visit www.wpfwfm.org on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00PM (Eastern).