Ebola crisis 2014

In West Africa, the Ebola virus is devastating communities. The number of reported Ebola cases is now over 21,000, and over 8,400 have died.

Oxfam is working in Sierra Leone and Liberia, providing equipment, water and sanitation for medical facilities, and working with communities to help stop the spread. We're also raising awareness about Ebola and sharing prevention messages and hygiene kits in at risk countries including, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, and Mali.

To ramp up our response to meet the escalating crisis, we need your help. Our focus is to prevent the spread of the disease. We will be significantly increasing our supply of water and sanitation services to Ebola treatment centres and community care centres, as well as providing more hygiene materials and boosting our public information campaign.

The situation

The Ebola outbreak started in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and cases have spread to Nigeria and Senegal. The UN target to get 70% of people with Ebola symptoms isolated and treated and 70% deceased safely buried by early December has not been met as cases are still not being identified early enough.

Communities have been torn apart as a result of the disease and many areas have been forced into quarantine. Fear has gripped the region.

David MacDonald, the regional head for Oxfam's response, said: "The need to break the spread of Ebola is absolutely key. Right now infection rates are accelerating and we have no option but to rapidly increase our work. We work on prevention to stop the disease spreading. We also need to think of the illnesses that are being ignored - treatable illnesses like diarrhoea, malaria and cholera.

What Oxfam is doing to help

Oxfam is playing a vital role in ensuring early detection of Ebola to reduce transmission rates. Across five affected countries, Oxfam has trained 2,172 community health workers to teach their local community about the signs and symptoms of Ebola, how to prevent its spread and what to do if someone in their family has symptoms. We are also promoting Ebola safety and awareness messages through local radio, posters and TV.

In Ebola treatment and isolation centres, Oxfam is providing protective equipment, clean water and hand-washing stations to medical staff and quarantined families.

Door-to-door health workers are visiting local households and providing hygiene kits, including water buckets, soap and purification tablets.

We are also calling for a concerted international effort to stop Ebola and calling for military logistical support.

So far, we‘ve reached almost one million people in Sierra Leone and Liberia, but we urgently need your help to reach more.

Latest news

Ebola crisis response

December 2, 2014

Oxfam is working to prevent further infections and support medical facilities.

Mistrust and confusion allow Ebola to thrive

October 28, 2014

Mistrust, rumour and myths about the origin and spread of Ebola are allowing the disease to thrive.

More needs to be done to stop the spread of Ebola

October 17, 2014

Oxfam is warning that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will not be contained unless more is done to prevent new infections.

Latest blogs

Stephen Seckor: Ebola survivor

February 5, 2015

Stephen Seckor: Ebola survivor and carer of thirteen children

Ebola response round up

Ebola hand washing November 28, 2014

Here is some of our Ebola crisis content from social media in case you missed it there.  

Community Health Volunteers stop the spread

November 18, 2014

Agnes, door-to-door volunteer, helps prevent Ebola spread in Liberia

You can help with future emergencies

Oxfam aims to respond immediately to humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters, but we can only do this if we have funds ready when they are needed. You can help: