Samaritan's Purse sending Canadian medical specialists to Liberia to fight deadly Ebola virus

CALGARY, June 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Samaritan's Purse is sending two and possibly more Canadian medical specialists to Liberia to help the Christian relief and development organization fight a renewed outbreak of the Ebola virus that has already killed at least 380 people so far in Liberia and other west African nations.

Physician Azaria Marthyman of Victoria and Registered Nurse Karen Daniels of Vancouver are part of a 14-member Samaritan's Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team of doctors and nurses from North America that will be departing for Liberia this week. More could follow in a few days or weeks.

They will join Samaritan's Purse staff already on the ground to work with the Liberian government, the United Nations, and other relief organizations to provide clinical care to those infected with Ebola. Samaritan's Purse also has aircraft in Liberia to support this emergency effort and has already been sending medical equipment and supplies, including protective clothing and medication.

The Ebola threat originally surfaced in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone last February and March, resulting in dozens of deaths. The outbreak appeared to be under control by May before returning with a vengeance in early June. It is a contagious disease that causes massive internal bleeding and has a mortality rate of between 60 and 90 per cent. This is the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

Samaritan's Purse's earlier response to the Ebola outbreak included a national awareness campaign that began in March and has reached more than 370,000 people and 170 churches with prevention education.

Available for Interviews:

  • Azaria Marthyman was part of Samaritan's Purse's emergency medical response in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the cholera epidemic in Haiti in 2010. He is departing for Liberia on Thursday, but can be reached until then at 250-514-2285 or amarthyman@shaw.ca.
  • Karen Daniels has many years of health care experience with Samaritan's Purse in Africa. She is departing for Liberia on Tuesday, but can be reached until then at 604-352-4791 or kdaniels@samaritan.org

Donations Needed
Anyone wishing to support Samaritan's Purse's emergency relief work in Liberia can call 1-866-663-6500 or visit SamaritansPurse.ca. As a Christian organization, we also welcome Canadians' prayers.

About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 40 countries to help victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Christian charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children around the world annually. In addition, we build and install thousands of life-saving BioSand Water Filters in the developing world. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.ca.

SOURCE: Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information: Media Inquiries: Frank King, Communications Manager, 403-250-6565 (work) or 403-990-0161 (mobile) - fking@samaritan.ca

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http://www.samaritanspurse.org

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