Is Ebola an ISV safety concern?

by isvolunteers on Tuesday, 5 August 2014

You’ve probably seen the news about the worst outbreak of Ebola which has hit West Africa and overwhelmed emergency services. Hundreds have died with thousands of confirmed infected.

ISVolunteers shouldn't worry about Ebola.

Ebola Virus

ISV can reassure you that currently there is zero concern for the safety of ISV volunteers. There are no volunteers in South Africa, with our most recent season just finishing in South Africa, and our next season starting in November.

What is Ebola? You can read the World Health Organisation factsheet on this highly contagious disease here:

There has been a bit of activity on our ISV South Africa Facebook groups with concern regarding the outbreak. This is not uncommon when a serious safety issue hits the media, but to put it into perspective, when the war in Syria broke out we received a number of emails from volunteers who were concerned about their safety on an upcoming Southern Africa program. Syria is 4092.3 miles/6585.9 or 8.5 hours by air from Pretoria in South Africa. There were no immediate reasonable threats whatsoever. (The war is far from over, it’s just that the news doesn’t cover it any more).

What’s that got to do with Ebola? While the safety threat of a civil war in a faraway country is not the same as that of a mobile and highly contagious disease, West Africa (such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia where the virus is strongest) are still thousands of kilometres away from South Africa, and due to the severity of this outbreak it’s finally starting to receive the international resources needed to contain it.

ISV volunteers are far away from West Africa.

Africa is enormous. You could fit the USA, China, India, and parts of Western Europe and still have space left over!

As usual, as part of our Global Risk Management Planning, we continue to consult our regional office staff, health and safety authorities. For example, the Australian government still has no Ebola related travel or health warnings for South Africa, nor does the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ISV puts volunteer safety first every time. South Africa volunteers – rest assured you are in the best hands. You’ll be the first to know if the situation changes over the coming weeks although like the rest of the world we are hopeful that it will soon be contained and lives and suffering spared.

Please contact our AUS or USA offices if you have any questions or concerns here






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