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Durham Non-Profit Tackling Ebola In Sierra Leone

A picture of colorized Ebola particles.
Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine

A Durham-based non-profit is starting a concentrated effort to slow the spread of Ebola in west Africa.  The group Africa Yes! says it's raising money and awareness for villages in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. 

The virus has killed more than 500 people in that country, which is second only to Liberia's death toll.  Africa Yes! co-founder Steve Cameron says the group is sending money for supplies to 19 small villages that have not yet been infected.

"Disinfectant, gloves and masks, treatment supplies like re-hydration therapy solution, and also we're sending money for food because they need to build up a stock in the case of travel restrictions resulting in food scarcity," Cameron says.

He says a key to where the money goes lies in where the disease is coming from.

"Ebola is spreading from two different directions into Sierra Leone right now. It's come to Kenema, which is the district capitol and up to the north of these villages, and it's also come up into Zimmi, which is a town that's to the south of them. And they're on the road in between Kenema and Zimmi.]

The group is hosting a Saturday evening fundraising event at The Palace International in Durham.  Cameron says Africa Yes! will transfer all proceeds to the villages next week.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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