Sri Lanka today donated one million medical examination gloves to West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak as its contribution to the global appeal, ‘Road Map for Ebola’ by World Health Organization (WHO).
The consignment of gloves worth Rs. 5 million will be distributed among medical workers in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a symbolic hand over of the gloves to WHO's Country Representative Dr. Firdosi Rustom Mehta at Temple Trees this evening. The Hayleys Group of Companies facilitated this contribution.
Following the handing over President Rajapaksa inquired about the status of spreading of the disease and expressed concerns about the wellbeing of the affected people.
WHO Country representative said this donation is appreciated by WHO as a major contribution to the fight against Ebola. Good name of Sri Lanka is upheld as a leader in the health sector by making this kind donation, Dr. Mehta added.
Ebola is a highly contagious disease and kills up to 55% of infected people. Most cases of Ebola are in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the outbreak was first reported in March this year.
At least 2,400 deaths caused by Ebola have been reported from the five West African countries.
The WHO released a roadmap for Ebola response on Aug. 28, which said a massive global response, costing at least $500 million dollars, will be necessary to stop Ebola transmission in affected countries within six to nine months and prevent it from spreading internationally.
As a response to the WHO’s appeal several countries have already dispatched medical teams and equipment to West Africa.
In addition to 3,000 U.S. forces, the U.N. health agency said China has promised to send a 59-person mobile laboratory team to Sierra Leone that includes lab experts, epidemiologists, doctors and nurses. Britain is planning to build and operate an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone, and Cuba has promised to send the country more than 160 health workers and Malaysia has donated 20 million rubber gloves.
The World Bank last week approved a US$ 105 million grant to finance Ebola-containment efforts underway in those countries.