​Students, faculty launch Action Against Ebola campaign to support relief efforts

Campaign aims to raise $5000

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With Ebola spreading rapidly across West Africa and two reported cases in the United States, many in the University community have started a conversation about the disease.

Fourth-year College student Clarisse Awamengwi, president of University group Action Against Ebola, said she is disappointed with the lack of a University response to the crisis so far.

“The institution of U.Va. as a whole has not had a response,” she said. “A lot of international organizations, especially Western organizations, are not taking enough action. Something needs to be done about it.”

The Medical School has held panels on the subject of Ebola, but other schools have failed to take action in regard to the disease, Awamengwi said.

According to the Center for Disease Control's website, more than 8,000 people have contracted Ebola, and more than 4,000 have died.

Action Against Ebola is mainly composed of students from the Organization of African Students and the African Studies Initiative, in addition to other concerned students and faculty members.

“There’s a disconnect between the onlookers and the victims,” Awamengwi said, “With the awareness campaign, it’s about getting people to realize that the ones who are suffering are people, too.”

Action Against Ebola is raising funds for patient care and public health in Ebola-affected countries. They aim to raise $5,000 by the time the campaign ends in early November.

The funds will be donated to Samaritan's Purse, Caritas International, and GOAL — all aid organizations working to address the Ebola crisis.

“We have these misleading notions of Africa that are hampering understanding of the issue,” she said. “We need to be able to analyze the world past the media.”

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