Many in Connecticut’s Liberian community, which may be may be as large as 15,000 people, feel Ebola has placed an unfair stigma on them.
“I am a Liberian. I`m not a virus, says,” Reverend Philip Blamo, Vice President of the Liberian Community Association of Connecticut.
“I`ve been in the United States almost 15 years. So, even if I tell you I`m from Liberia, all the people will just run away from me and think that I have Ebola,” added Blamo, who is Pastor of the Holiness Church of Jesus Christ, at 463 Greenwich Avenue, New Haven.
Blamo, whose daughter is studying nursing at a school in Minnesota, says she may decide to return to assist her native country overcome an Ebola outbreak that has caused nearly 3,000 deaths in Liberia. He adds that he says his family and friends, who still live in Liberia, appreciate American aid, but they don`t believe it`s the right type of help. He says they wonder why America is bringing in the military instead of doctors.
And, many social media posts from Liberia indicate the country’s current citizens feel they are also being slighted by their own. Many complain that those choosing to pursue medicine leave Liberia to to pursue dollar signs in America. In a country, which Blamo says has one doctor for every 20,000 citizens, this is paramount.
“We have less than 80 doctors. 80. 8-0. In our entire country,” said Blamo
His church and the Faith Revival Church, at 2 Elizabeth Street, West Haven, are presently accepting donations of items like medical gloves, hand sanitizer, bleach and medical equipment, which will be shipped in a big container just a couple of weeks.
Stamford based AmeriCares announced today it is shipping 30,000 pounds of safety equipment and medical supplies to Guinea, another of the Ebola ravaged west African countries. The World Health Organization says that by December, there could be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases per week in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.