Children in several West African countries are paying a terrible price for the Ebola epidemic sweeping the region. As well as being threatened and sometimes succumbing to the virus themselves and losing family members, they are being forced to stay at home during school time as education has ground to a halt. Schools and universities in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are closed indefinitely.

Meanwhile schools in some parts of Nigeria remained closed after the summer holidays and their resumption was further postponed by the National Union of Teachers because the state government had failed to provide thermometers and hand sanitisers as a precaution against the spread of the disease. They finally opened today. Where schools are open they are in the front line of efforts to contain Ebola. Meanwhile heroic and underpaid health workers are doing their best to help victims and contain the spread in under-resourced facilities in the three most affected countries.

Ebola is a disease which is difficult to catch and is best contained by good health facilities, clean water and a healthy population. The immiseration of the populations of West Africa by economic policies dictated by the international finance institutions and corporations, with the connivance of local elites, has provided a situation in which the disease can flourish. Meanwhile, presumably because Northern governments imagine that their populations are relatively safe from the virus, the help required for the people of West Africa has been too little and too late. 

This website sends its heartfelt solidarity to the teachers and children in the affected countries.