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Archives: The Church Responds to Ebola

Ophthalmologists Jessica Shantha (from left), Moges Teshome and Steven Yeh pose with Umaru Sesay, 12, from Moyamba Junction, Sierra Leone. Sesay, who had cataracts as a result of contracting Ebola, had a successful operation that allowed him return to school. A partnership between Emory University and the Christian Blind Mission provides free cataract surgery to Ebola survivors at the Ruth and Lowell Gess Eye Hospital in eastern Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Free surgery for Ebola survivors

A partnership between United Methodist-related Emory University and others is improving the eyesight of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone. Read More

Dr. Francis Karteh, a United Methodist and Liberia’s chief medical officer, volunteered to take the Ebola vaccine six months ago. He is healthy and showing no signs of complications.

Ebola vaccines declared safe in Liberia

Former United Methodist hospital administrator and trial participant confirmed that vaccines are safe and ready for use. Read More

Dr. Omar Lamin examines a hypertension patient in his office at United Methodist Kissy Hospital in Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Malaria, other illnesses up since Ebola

Staff at United Methodist hospitals in Sierra Leone report increases in the number of patients with malaria, typhoid fever, hepatitis and high blood pressure since the end of the Ebola... Read More

L-R: Jerald Dennis, public relations officer, Ebola Survival Association of Liberia (ESAL); Vivian Rogers, Ebola survival and member of ESAL; Foday Gallah, general coordinator of Montserrado County Sector 4 of ESAL.

Liberian Ebola survivors report sight problems

Liberia is now Ebola-free, but many stricken with the virus are now experiencing poor vision, fatigue and severe headaches. Read More

Ebola survivor and former Mercy Hospital employee nurse, Dennis Karimu, is chairman of the Post Ebola Treatment Center in the Bo District of Sierra Leone. He also works as a nurse and counsellor at the center.

Normal life elusive for Ebola survivors

Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone face discrimination, financial difficulties, many health problems. Read More

A patient is screened for Ebola at United Methodist Kissy Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Months after the Ebola outbreak officially ended in 2015, the Sierra Leone government, along with The United Methodist Church and other health partners,  is  focusing on strengthening disease prevention and control procedures in the event of a future epidemic. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS

Shadow of Ebola lingers for Sierra Leone hospitals

United Methodist hospitals in Sierra Leone are strengthening infection control in preparation for the possibility of another outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Read More

Pictured are six of the girls stranded at June Hartranft Memorial Primary School for Girls in Sierra Leone after the country’s deadly Ebola outbreak. From left are Esther Cooper, 15; Kadiatu Juana, 10; Hawa Bayoh, 10; Ramatu Kamara, 11; Magdalene Kamara, 9; and Aminata Bayoh, 11. Photo courtesy of Phileas Jusu

United Methodists care for girls stranded after Ebola

Educators in Sierra Leone struggle to locate parents nine months after the deadly Ebola outbreak ended. Read More

Children lead a candlelight procession into the Moyamba community before attending a social night at the Sierra Leone Conference’s children’s camp in late July. Photo by Phileas Jusu, United Methodist Communications.

Sierra Leone holds first post-Ebola camp

The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone revives annual children’s camp, suspended in 2014 because of Ebola. Read More

Tolbert T. Nyenswah, head of the response team for Ebola in Liberia, stands in his office.  He is also the deputy minister for public health.

Liberia no longer on deathwatch for Ebola

Country better equipped to deal with outbreaks due to quick response time and test vaccine. Read More

Adamsay Conteh, a student at The United Methodist Church Primary School in Mamaka, Sierra Leone, receives a backpack containing uniforms, books and other materials from Leonard Ben-Gbloa, education secretary for primary schools. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS

Norwegian scholarships aid Ebola orphans

Disadvantaged children in four remote Sierra Leone communities receive help and hope for the future from a United Methodist Church partnership. Read More

Cataract surgeon Isatu Sesay examines Mohamed Kamara’s eyes at the Lowell and Ruth Gess United Methodist Eye Hospital in eastern Freetown. Kamara is an Ebola survivor receiving free treatment.

Sierra Leone hospital gives sight to the blind

United Methodist eye hospitals offers free treatment to Ebola survivors with dangerous eye inflammation. Read More

Women incarcerated at the Freetown Female Correctional Center receive gifts from the Sierra Leone Conference prison ministry volunteers. UMNS photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS

Prison ministry transforms lives in Sierra Leone

United Methodist ministry in west Africa country has helped free prisoners. Read More

At a community gathering in Tilorma village, Kenema district, Sierra Leone, hand-washing became routine after the outbreak of Ebola. The virus has killed nearly 4,000 people in Sierra Leone.

New Ebola death shocks Sierra Leone

United Methodist churches join in resuming preventive measures as questions linger about hospital’s care for victim. Read More

The front page of Liberia’s leading investigative news magazine questions the presence of the Ebola virus in the country.

Ebola resurfaces in Liberia

The new outbreak occurred in the Paynesville a suburb of Monrovia. Read More

The Rev. James W. Fowler influenced many pastors and others with his book

Scholar left mark with `Stages of Faith’

The Rev. James W. Fowler, who died October 16, influenced fellow United Methodists as author and professor. Read More

Dr. Francis Karteh, a United Methodist and Liberia’s chief medical officer, volunteered to take the Ebola vaccine six months ago. He is healthy and showing no signs of complications.

Ebola trial vaccine participant happy with results

United Methodist doctor who took experimental Ebola vaccine said he is healthy and has no signs of complications. Read More

The Rev. Ezechiel Dadie watches the video animation “Ebola: A Poem for the Living” in Côte d'Ivoire. Photo by Neelley Hicks, United Methodist Communications

Ebola animation seen by thousands

About 13,000 households in Sierra Leone have seen the Ebola animation that United Methodist Communications helped develop. Read More

Students at J.J. Roberts United Methodist School in Liberia use one of the large hand-washing stations in this file photo from March 2015. School opened in March after being closed for months due to Ebola. File photo by Nyamah Dunbar, UMNS

Liberian government abruptly cancels school again

Liberian schools, already closed seven months for Ebola, are shuttered again. United Methodist schools plan to remain open, though. Read More

In this file photo, Bishop John K. Yambasu uses a Bible instead of laying on of hands during the induction of clergy as deacons and elders due to the Ebola outbreak. Senesie Rogers is being inducted as interim young adults president.

Sierra Leone works to meet post-Ebola challenges

United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu says hunger, education and isolated cases of Ebola are concerns. Read More

Richard Wiah, president of the College of West Africa, a United Methodist school, checks the temperature of student before he enters the classroom.

Liberia honors churches for service during Ebola outbreak

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a United Methodist, described the LCC as “champions of peace.” Read More

The feeding program at S.T. Nagbe United Methodist Church serves almost 300 people on each distribution day. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

Church delivers food, water in wake of Ebola

The United Methodist Church in Liberia is providing hot meals, food and building water wells. Read More

Nyamah Dunbar, a former employee of the church talks about agriculture in Liberia. Video still by Andrew Jensen, United Methodist Communications.

Liberian sowing seeds for country’s future

Ebola highlights Liberia’s need for more farms and better food security. Read More

Teens gather in Kpetewoma village, Sierra Leone. Ebola forced the closing of all schools for the 2014 academic year and educators are concerned that students will not return to the classroom when schools reopen. Photo by Jan Snider, United Methodist Communications.

A generation lost to Ebola

The principal of a United Methodist school says Sierra Leone may lose a whole generation of students because of the Ebola outbreak that shuttered classrooms for a year. Read More

Children play at at orphanage in Kenema, Sierra Leone that was opened during the Ebola epidemic in 2014. There are an estimated 12,000 children orphaned by the virus in West Africa. Photo by Jill Costello, United Methodist Communications.

Ebola survivors and orphans can be pariahs

The United Methodist Church is considering launching an orphanage in the Kailahun district to help care for children orphaned by Ebola. Read More

Farmer Safiatu Bockari explains that months of Ebola quarantines in Sierra Leone have depleted seed stores and she worries that there will be a food shortage. Photo by Jill Costello, United Methodist Communications.

Who can put Sierra Leone together again?

Many in Sierra Leone have no seed to plant crops because they had to eat it during the Ebola outbreak in 2014. More

Joseph Bangura stands behind a barrier in a Freetown, Sierra Leone fish market. Bangura and hundreds of others are under quarantine after a boat with occupants infected with Ebola washed ashore at the market. Photo by Jan Snider, United Methodist Communications

After Ebola: A devastated country picks up the pieces

Ebola maintains a deadly grip on Sierra Leone, but United Methodists and others are working to help the people move forward. Read More

These women were among the Liberians celebrating and giving thanks in Monrovia on May 11 to the announcement by the World Health Organization that Liberia is free of the Ebola virus. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

Liberia gives thanks for freedom from Ebola

United Methodist leaders, remembering toll of the disease, counsel continued vigilance in public health. Read More

In this file photo, Bishop John K. Yambasu uses a Bible instead of laying on of hands during the induction of clergy as deacons and elders due to the Ebola outbreak. Senesie Rogers is being inducted as interim young adults president.

Sierra Leone Conference meets amid Ebola restrictions

Despite trickle of new cases, government ban on public gatherings reduces time, participants in annual meeting of United Methodists. Read More

Students at the Albert Academy wash hands outside before they are allowed into their classroom. The students take hand washing seriously.

Students trickling back after Sierra Leone Ebola scare

United Methodist Bishop John K. Yambasu warned people to remain vigilant about Ebola as students return to school. Read More

Picketers who wanted to lift a bar that prevents divorced clergy from being nominated for bishop in the Liberia Conference disrupted the April 16 session of the conference. Photo by Julu Swen

Divorced clergy barred from nomination as bishop in Liberia

Picketing over a provision to bar divorced clergy from nomination for United Methodist bishop in Liberia halted one session of the Liberia Conference. Read More

Bishop John G. Innis visits Siaffa-keh United Methodist School. The school was built by the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia and serves 310 students.  Photo by Julu Swen

Liberian bishop visits schools reopened after Ebola

“God through Jesus Christ has something good in store for you," the bishop told students. Read More

The Rev. Winston Ashcroft distributes hand-washing buckets to Rev Mariama Bockarie for the Makeni District.

United Methodists train teachers for reopening of schools

Closed since June 2014, because of the Ebola outbreak, United Methodist schools prepare to start again in mid-April. Read More

Dr. Lowell Gess prays for Sierra Leone at a weekly devotion held at the United Methodist Church house in Freetown.

Ebola doesn’t stop 93-year-old’s return to Sierra Leone

Dr. Lowell Gess, retired United Methodist missionary, decided his presence would make a difference during a difficult period in his adopted homeland. Read More

Premature baby Coulibaly Yah Eugenie lies in an incubator at Dabou Methodist Hospital in Dabou, Côte d'Ivoire, hub of the church's healthcare system in this West African nation. The World Health Organization has issued guidelines to improve the immediate care of premature babies in the context of an Ebola outbreak.

Small hospital fills large need in Côte d’Ivoire

Dabou Hospital treats malaria, HIV/AIDs and other deadly diseases but is also the preferred place for the birth of babies. Read More

Bishop John K. Yambasu, chair of the Religious Leaders Task Force on Ebola, speaks during the launch of Channels of Hope on behalf of religious leaders in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu

Religious leaders train for post-Ebola support

Faith leaders working with relief agencies to help Sierra Leone recover from Ebola. Read More

Richard Wiah, president of the College of West Africa, a United Methodist school, checks the temperature of student before he enters the classroom.

Schools reopen as Ebola cases decline

Students glad to be back in class, but Ebola means changes at Liberian schools. Read More

Young people listen to a presentation about preventing the spread of Ebola prepared by United Methodist Communications during a service at the United Methodist Church in Sassandra. From left are: Anaya Grace Camara, 22; Flore Diobo, 30; and Marie Yao, 9.

Côte d’Ivoire faith leaders join fight to keep Ebola out

The faith community has an important role in the fight against Ebola since more than 80 percent of the people in Côte d’Ivoire attend a place of worship. Read More

Sgt. Dongo Atta Blaise of the prefecture of Sipilou, Côte d'Ivoire, watches over a remote border crossing into Guinea. Until the first case of Ebola was Photos by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Ebola changes Cote d’Ivoire without crossing border

Polite bows and hearty bonjours have replaced handshakes and hugs even though Ebola has not crossed the Cote d’Ivoire border. Read More

Bishop John G. Innis distributes Holy Communion at First United Methodist Church in Monrovia during a special service that marked his return from the United States, where he stayed for months for health reasons and restrictions due to the Ebola crisis.  Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

Liberian church welcomes bishop home

After back surgery and travel difficulties related to Ebola, Bishop John G. Innis is back home in Liberia. Read More

Isabelle Ake sings during worship at Temple Bethel United Methodist Church in Abobo-Baoule, outside Adidjan. Although worship in this West African country is still exuberant, the threat of Ebola is changing the way people interact. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Ebola at the border

United Methodist Communications photographer Mike DuBose takes a look at efforts to prevent Ebola from crossing the border into Côte d'Ivoire in this UMNS photo essay. Read More

Dr. Francis Kateh, right, and Dr. Stephen B. Kennedy, left, took the experimental Ebola vaccine and testified before Liberia’s legislature that the vaccine trials are safe. Photo by Julu Swen.

United Methodist doctor gets trial Ebola vaccine

One of 12 initial volunteers, former hospital administrator in Liberia says taking trial Ebola vaccine was his duty as a Christian. Read More

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma commended the Koinadugu district Ebola Response Center for the efficient management of the outbreak since the disease was first reported in the country. The district has recorded no cases in more than a week.  Photo courtesy of Sierra Leone State House Communications Unit

2015 ushers in renewed hope with dip in Ebola cases

Drop in new Ebola cases brings hope for an end to the deadly epidemic in Sierra Leone, as the Christmas lockdown is extended. Read More

The Rev. Anna Kpaan addresses the elderly who have come to receive a distribution of rice from The Liberia Annual Conference, through its Ministry to the Aging. Photo by Nyamah Dunbar, UMNS

Ebola adds to struggles of Liberian elderly

United Methodists work through own program and coalition to meet needs of elderly. Read More

During the food distribution at The United Methodist Church’s central office in Liberia, Victoria Tomah, the denomination’s director of Health and Social Welfare, lectured the beneficiaries on several Ebola preventive measures. Photo by Joseph Zeogar

Church publishing team produces Ebola booklets

Ebola booklets designed to be help prepare for any future Ebola outbreak. Read More

The importance of not adhering to traditional burial rituals protects family members from spreading the Ebola virus. Liberia has incorporated the visual arts in mural form in order to communicate information about Ebola.

Commentary: Artists join Ebola fight in Liberia

Murals share anti-Ebola health messages in Liberia. Read More

Young adults from the Sierra Leone Annual Conference reenact skits relating to Ebola virus prevention and treatment in effort to educate. Their efforts are target people who cannot read or write or have access to radio and new media. The person in the head wrap represents an herbalist who works in “African magic.” In the skit, the young man affected with Ebola is brought to the herbalist but dies. The brother who was exposed to the Ebola patient survives as he reports for (medical) treatment early. The message is that no superstitious power can cure Ebola; contact with an infected person can lead to infection; and there is a better chance for survival if one reports it early. The training was developed by the Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS

News Service poll: Ebola voted top story of 2014

Church communicators vote Ebola and The United Methodist Church's efforts to fight the deadly virus as the top story of 2014. Read More

A woman carries a 25-kilogram (55-pound) bag of rice she received through the food distribution in Topoe Village outside Monrovia by the United Methodist Committee on Relief and The United Methodist Church in Liberia. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS

Food arrives in time for Christmas in Ebola-ravaged village

Food distribution makes Christmas a little brighter for Ebola survivors and others in Liberian village. Read More

Blind students help lead the singing during the celebration of United Methodist Student Day at Stephen Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church in Liberia. The church distributed food and other items to the physically challenged students and their families.

Amid Ebola, Liberian church celebrates Student Day

United Methodist Student Day was observed in Liberia although the Ebola crisis meant it was not the usual day of pomp and pageantry. Read More

Ehui Eboua, infectious and tropical diseases specialist, displays his PowerPoint while teaching the staff of the Voice of Hope Radio about the Ebola threat. Seated next to him is M. Hyacinthe Besse, Côte d’Ivoire United Methodist Health Board’s coordinator. Photo by Isaac Broune, UMNS

Communicating hope amid Ebola crisis

West African countries without Ebola are looking at communications needs if there were an outbreak. Read More

Staff members of Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone, sing during a memorial service Dec. 2, 2014, for their colleague, Dr. Martin Salia, who died from Ebola. The service was held at Brown Memorial United Methodist Church, on the hospital grounds. Photo by Phileas Jusus, UMNS

Doctor who died of Ebola remembered as hero

Salia’s death called ‘irreparable loss’ at memorial and thanksgiving service in Sierra Leone. Read More