Ecumenical News International

Military chaplain Tübler in Liberia: Ebola crisis seems to have been stemmed

January 30, 2015

Hamburg/Monrovia (epd). Protestant military chaplain Andreas-Christian Tübler, currently working in Libera, West Africa, sees progress in the battle against the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. "Fortunately the Ebola crisis seems to have been stemmed," he told epd, the Protestant press agency. According to the World Health Organization, only four new cases of infection were recorded in Liberia last week.

Nonetheless the work of health workers is important as the health system in the country has "practically broken down," Tübler underlines. Only a handful of private hospitals are still functioning well. That is why the treatment centre run by the German armed forces and the German Red Cross in Monrovia is handling patients with other infectious diseases, he explains. Although originally planned for 100 Ebola patients, it has never been used for that purpose, because of the decline in infections.

The Red Cross staff and the army are looking after about ten people suffering from malaria, lassa fever or other infectious diseases, Tübler reports. The 'tent town' is currently set up for 20 patients. Tübler's job is to accompany the German soldiers and Red Cross workers. He also gives guest sermons to the Liberian personal at the camp. Every Saturday he holds a church service in the compound of the hotel with about 15 workers.

Tübler would like to celebrate Holy Communion on the next occasion. Hygiene is very important here: he will wear plastic gloves when distributing the bread and each participant will receive their own paper cup. Tübler has gained experience abroad in other places. Six months ago he was in Mali, also in West Africa, and also worked for several weeks in Afghanistan.



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