SEPTEMBER 8, 2014
With funds from the World Bank, UNICEF has procured and facilitated the delivery of 48 metric tons of assorted drugs and other medical supplies worth over US$825,000 for the treatment of people who have contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, according to a joint release from the World Bank and UNICEF.
A chartered UN cargo aircraft landed on Friday with the drugs and medical supplies at the Lungi International Airport. The supplies include latex gloves, intravenous fluids, assorted antibiotics and personal protective equipment—supplies that are urgently needed to fight the Ebola epidemic.
“The World Bank is committed to improving the health of the people of Sierra Leone and eliminating Ebola, which is taking so many lives and undermining the great development gains Sierra Leone has made in recent years,” said Ato Brown, the Bank’s Country Manager in Sierra Leone.
The funding from the World Bank comes from its US$200 million pledge last month to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone contain the spread of Ebola, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and improve public health systems throughout West Africa.
Within 36 hours of placing the order, the items were dispatched and reached Sierra Leone. The supplies have been transferred to the Central Medical Stores in Freetown for immediate dispatch to different Ebola holding/treatment centres, the release said.
“These supplies were identified by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as crucial in the fight against Ebola in the country and as soon as we received the go-ahead, we responded. We will continue to boost the Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s response mechanism to tackle the disease,” said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative to Sierra Leone.
UNICEF says it is supporting activities within the different pillars under the Ebola Operations Center, including the Social Mobilization, Surveillance and Laboratory, Case Management, Logistics and Child Protection/Social Protection pillars.