The in London has announced grants totaling $20 million in support of efforts to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa, the biggest single commitment the foundation has ever made in response to a humanitarian crisis.
Recipients include , which was awarded $8.9 million for a new Ebola treatment center in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, that will employ satellite and referral medical units to screen suspected Ebola patients closer to their homes. The grant also will fund a new unit that trains doctors, nurses, community health workers, midwives, and traditional birth attendants on infection control protocols, correct usage of personal protection equipment, case management for Ebola patients, and other support such as psychological first aid.
Other awards include a grant of $4.6 million to the to help it deal safely with the bodies of patients who have died, track people who have been in contact with infected individuals, and raise awareness among people in vulnerable communities about how to protect themselves; $2.5 million to in support of the agency's work in Sierra Leone to provide essential healthcare services for mothers and children made vulnerable by the spread of the virus to illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria; and $2 million to in support of its efforts in the region to treat, contain, and control the spread of the Ebola virus.
"More than two hundred and forty healthcare workers have now died from Ebola since the outbreak began," said Hussein Ibrahim, IMC's country director in Sierra Leone, where more than fifty-three hundred people have been infected with the virus and fifteen hundred have died. "It is doctors and nurses who are on the front line of the battle against Ebola, and it is essential they receive the training and support they need to stay safe. This training center will be a vital asset for Sierra Leone's health workers as we act to bring the Ebola crisis under control."