Idris Elba has been campaigning on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure more aid is sent to Western Africa to tackle the Ebola virus.
The No Good Deed star’s father hails from Sierra Leone, where the demand for medical help has outstripped the supply as the potentially fatal virus spreads.
He wants developed countries to do more to help the nation, as well as neighbouring Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, and has been attending meetings with charity organisations, politicians and United Nations officials to support the cause.
Elba, who was in London on Thursday for a global conference on the crisis, tells Sky News, “Part of my messaging is to help wrangle more people from Sierra Leone and others to come to Sierra Leone and help, especially people in the health profession. It’s a hard ask to ask anybody to go to Sierra Leone whether you’re from there or not, but… we need help urgently.”
The actor has also written an article for The Huffington Post in which he urges readers to put pressure on politicians and support aid workers in affected countries.
“We need to make sure that the leaders’ words translate into action on the ground… Until there are more health care workers to fight the disease and more tools for them to fight it with, Ebola will continue to kill large numbers of people… We cannot leave the people of Sierra Leone and West Africa to suffer alone. We owe it to them as fellow human beings to ensure our leaders deliver on their promises, support the healthcare workers, and stop this virus in its tracks.”
Experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that more than 3,000 people have died of the virus since the outbreak began earlier this year. The first case of the virus was confirmed in the U.S. on Tuesday