BROOKDALE resident Amara Varney is calling on the Australian Government to help halt the spread of ebola as new reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveal more than 5000 people have now died from the virus.
Mr Varney has lost friends to the virus and he now fears for family members who live in Liberia and Guinea ” two of the most severely affected countries.
‘At this point in Liberia everyone fears for their lives,’ he said.
‘They live one day at a time.’
Mr Varney said he had been helping to raise funds and awareness for African communities through the African Australian Union (AAU), but as the situation grows increasingly dire he wants the Australian Government to send more medical equipment and personnel to assist and raise awareness.
‘At the moment we are living happily over here, but no one is living happily there ” they’re living with the fear of dying,’ he said.
‘I have relatives there and most of them depend on us for survival. My sisters’ children ” their father is dead.
‘We are concerned about the welfare of our people.’
Mr Varney said many of the medical centres in the Ebola-affected areas had been closed down due to contamination, including three of the main hospitals in the Liberian capital Monrovia.
He said people had no access to medical treatment, apart from what was provided to them through international aid and non-government organisations and the only knowledge they had about how to protect themselves from the virus was to stay inside.
‘They tell them to stay at home, but how do you stay at home if you don’t have food.’?
‘You have to go out to survive or your children don’t eat.’
The communally living environment of African families had also allowed the Ebola virus to spread easily, Mr Varney said.
The Australian Government recently decided to send medical teams to Sierra Leone, which Mr Varney acknowledged, but he said more medical resources were needed throughout the affected region, as Ebola was not isolated to one area.