Thousands raised to help Ebola's hidden victims


A UK Jewish charity is working to save what it calls the hidden victims of the Ebola epidemic.

World Jewish Relief's appeal has raised £100,000 to help African children orphaned by the disease.

The money will allow the charity to supply food, bedding and clothing to 1,188 children in Sierra Leone.

Richard Verber, WJR communications manager, said: "The orphans are a hidden side of the crisis - thousands have been created - so we're really grateful to the British public for allowing us to help them.

"They have nothing, which is why we've chosen to focus on them."

WJR will invest extra funds in education and prevention. A network of teachers will visit remote villages, some with a 100 per cent Ebola death rate, to train inhabitants on containing the disease, which has killed 5,459 people across West Africa.

The aid effort has been praised by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. "It is a mitzvah for us to do what we can to help fight the Ebola virus," he said.

His view was echoed by Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism.

She said: "The Talmud teaches us that by saving one life, it is as if we have saved an entire world."

Jewish doctor Nicky Connor is leading efforts to prevent the disease spreading.

She is assistant director at Public Health England's Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control."Our role at the moment is making sure that we are prepared and the right guidance is available, so people know what to do if they have visited an affected area."

She said the situation in Sierra Leone remained "very serious".

"While in Nigeria and Senegal the outbreak has been declared 'under control' by the World Health Organisation, in Sierra Leone the outbreak continues. We are focusing a lot of our effort there,"she said.

Public Health England has sent 130 volunteers to West Africa.

An outbreak in the UK was "extremely unlikely", Dr Connor said.

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