MN Nonprofit Cancels West Africa Trip Over Ebola Fears

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is having an impact on some health organizations here in the Twin Cities.

The nonprofit group Children’s Surgery International has canceled a trip to Liberia because of the outbreak.

Laura Stege-Koppel, a nurse with Children’s Hospital in Minnesota, volunteers for the group, which does medical mission trips in West Africa.

“For the 3 million people in that country, they have very few doctors and nurses. And once this Ebola outbreak has finished, they are going to be in desperate need of health care,” she said.

Nonprofit Cancels West Africa Trip Over Ebola Fears

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Stege-Koppel said they have gone to West Africa for the past several years, performing about 200 surgeries during the week they are there.

There are no televisions, and news of their visit comes on the radio. She said people from all over come to the location for surgery, including from Sierra Leone and Guinea and Liberia.

But this year, the outbreak is happening in those communities that they serve.

“We just couldn’t risk our volunteers going there,” she said

The group will monitor the situation and reschedule the trip next year.

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