Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to fight a deadly Ebola epidemic that has killed at least 150 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The World Health Organization confirmed the outbreak in the central province of Kasai Occidental.
MAF is transporting doctors into extremely remote jungle clinics, where they can treat patients and assess the severity and extent of the crisis. “There are many, many more in the remote villages who are not making it to a hospital or a clinic and are simply dying in remote villages,” said John Boyd, MAF vice president for ministry advancement.
Ebola is one of the deadliest pathogens, killing 50 to 80 percent of the people it infects. Because it is highly contagious, health officials in Congo are trying to quarantine anyone who has symptoms of infection.
The current Ebola crisis, Boyd said, “dovetails very closely with who we are as a Christian ministry. We’re prepared to go into this stricken area. The ministry side of it is simply being there to help the ‘least of these’ and then taking the opportunity to share the gospel when that arises.”
MAF pilots fly approximately 40,000 flights a year, transporting missionaries, medical personnel, medicines and relief supplies, as well as conducting thousands of emergency medical evacuations. (Mission Network News)