Vatican City, 15 December 2014 (VIS) – Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”, will travel to Sierra Leone on 16 December, followed by a visit to Liberia, two of the countries most affected by the Ebola virus. The World Health Organisation confirms around 18,000 probable or suspected cases and more than 6,500 deaths as a result of this disease. The cardinal wishes to offer “a message of solidarity and hope for the Church, for healthcare workers and for the population”.
Cardinal Turkson will be accompanied by Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, special health consultor for Caritas Internationalis. “The Church, including Caritas, religious congregations and other Catholic-inspired organisms, has been on the front line in response to Ebola”, affirmed Vitillo. “As well as providing healthcare for other illnesses, establishing stringent procedures for infection control and creating screening areas, the Church, to prevent the transmission of the virus in the healthcare setting, has trained communities with the aim of involving the clergy and local parish groups in renewed efforts to stop the spread of this lethal virus”.
“On a number of occasions the Holy Father has expressed his profound concern for those affected by Ebola and for their loved ones. I hope to express the solidarity of the Pope and of all the Church”.