Pray for Langham Scholar and Uni President Dr Atido in Ebola-hit DR Congo
Langham Scholar Dr George Pirwoth Atido is the President of Shalom University in Bunia, DR Congo, where the devastating Ebola virus has struck.
Fierce fighting and tribal conflicts are also hampering efforts to eradicate the spread of infection. Read more from Dr Atido:
Social, political and economic crises
“The DR Congo has been affected for several years by social, political, and economic crises. In July, the area around Bunia has experienced renewed conflict and the displacement of about 300,000 people. Many have again fled into Bunia.
“This situation got much more complicated this year with the Ebola epidemic. Responses to the Ebola disease have not been well accepted, especially in the countryside. There have been several attacks on the Ebola response effort by people angry at the way the response has been handled or by groups wanting to destabilise the region.
“Cases of Ebola in the region and the recent coming of the Ebola disease to Bunia itself have led many to pray earnestly for God’s protection.
Not enough vaccines
“At Shalom University, we have been trying our best to observe hygiene practices, as recommended by health services in Congo and the World Health Organisation. We have employed a new agent to coordinate obligatory hand washing with water containing disinfectants for everyone at the campus entrance.
“We are working to provide vaccines to the university community. The vaccine is free, but we do not have enough. People who have priority to be urgently vaccinated are those who have been in direct contact with the Ebola disease through sick people or people who have died of the disease. People declared to be at high risk are also on the priority list.
“We succeeded in getting vaccines to all the Shalom clinic staff, but not their family members. Students and faculty in the Medical Department were also vaccinated. We then negotiated to give vaccines to foreign missionary personnel and their family members. Recently, the University management committee (five people, including myself) received the vaccine, but not our family members.
“We continue to pray and negotiate for more vaccines to offer the university community.
“Please pray for students whose families are affected by the violence in the countryside, that they can concentrate academically, have adequate finances to pay school fees and living expenses, and have peace in their hearts.
“With the recent cases of Ebola, several people may fear coming to Bunia. Our financial audit was conducted this year in Kampala as the auditor from Canada feared traveling up to Bunia. Please pray for solutions to be found as visiting lectureships and student enrolment may be affected by this situation.”