Stamford, Conn. – July 31, 2014 – AmeriCares is sending emergency medical aid to West Africa for the worsening Ebola outbreak, including personal protective equipment for health workers that offers the only line of defense against the deadly virus. More than 700 people have died from the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the first fatality was recently reported in Nigeria.
AmeriCares has three new shipments underway, including an emergency air shipment to restock hospitals and clinics in Liberia where President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made an urgent appeal for safety equipment for health workers. The 2,700-pound delivery includes 20,000 pairs of gloves, 20,000 surgical masks and 60,000 surgical caps, among other medical supplies. Shipments of intravenous fluids to rehydrate Ebola patients are also headed to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
In May, AmeriCares provided protective gear and medical supplies for health workers in Liberia and supported public service announcements to spread awareness about safety precautions.
“With over 1,300 people infected already and the virus spreading rapidly, there is virtually an endless demand for safety equipment,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “If we don’t support the frontline health workers, there is no hope for controlling the epidemic.”
In Sierra Leone and Liberia, health care providers report intravenous fluids are in short supply and have been extremely difficult to access with the increased demand. AmeriCares is sending enough intravenous fluids donated by Baxter International Inc. for approximately 3,000 patients in both countries.
AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope.