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Fight against Ebola continues with airlift of supplies

ChildFund Liberia staff waited anxiously this morning for the arrival of a humanitarian airlift carrying 15,000 pounds of emergency medical supplies to help contain the spread of the Ebola virus. Manned by two volunteer crews, the 737 jet carried five pallets of personal protection equipment and hygiene supplies from our US-based sister organisation, ChildFund International, in response to urgent requests from staff and health care professionals in Liberia.

ChildFund International CEO Anne Lynam Goddard says, “The response of our staff and partners has been remarkable €“ to provide and deliver lifesaving medical supplies requested by the hospitals and clinics we serve in these countries. We are honoured to work with leading corporations and fellow non-profits to meet West Africa`s most urgent medical needs and save lives together.”

This airlift came about through a remarkable collaboration spanning the corporate and nonprofit sectors. ChildFund`s participation in the airlift would not have been possible without the support of AIRLINK, ATX Air Services, Procter & Gamble and Advocates for World Health €“ as well as more than 100 generous individuals. Four other non-profit organisations joined ChildFund in filling the plane with supplies: AFYA Foundation, AmeriCares, Direct Relief and MedShare. Logistical support on the ground was provided by UPS, FedEx, ALAN, LIFT and Rock-IT Cargo.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation report that the current Ebola virus outbreak is the deadliest on record. Although there is no known cure for this disease, early intervention can help to boost survival rates. Currently, 47 per cent of those infected are surviving. However, health workers are in desperate need of supplies to treat symptoms and contain the virus.

While Ebola is the main challenge at the moment, the breadth and depth of this outbreak has pushed Liberia`s health system to its limit. It is predicted that the number of deaths from malaria, pneumonia and childbirth will increase due to Ebola because people are afraid to seek treatment in hospitals.

As a child-focused organisation, ChildFund has an essential role in helping to restore safe delivery options for pregnant women by getting these supplies to Lofa, the hardest-hit county in Liberia and ChildFund Liberia`s main project area.

Once the supplies are delivered through the Ministry of Health of Social Welfare, the organisation will start to focus its efforts on helping meet the needs of children and youth orphaned and stigmatized due to having lost family members to the virus.

Anthony Klay Sie, Program Manager for ChildFund Liberia, reflects, “Since the Ebola outbreak, one of the hardest parts of my job has been the challenge to fill urgent requests for supplies that often mean the difference between life and death.  So today, it feels tremendous to finally be able to say, ˜Yes, we can help you.`

“ChildFund Liberia has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its county health teams to raise awareness on the Ebola virus,” he adds. “I am so glad that we have gone a step further by procuring and airlifting for distribution essential response materials that directly complement the efforts of the Government of Liberia and other stakeholders in addressing this emergency and saving lives.”

 

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