by Vani Pradeep on  December 12, 2014 at 6:56 PM Health In Focus
World Support for Ebola: US$35 Million Funding from King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia
Zaire ebolavirus is commonly known as Ebola. It was previously known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever and is a deadly human illness. Ebola virus disease (EVD) is transmitted to humans from wild animals and among human population, it is through human-to-human transmission.

Where did Ebola originate?

The disease acquired its name from the Ebola River as it arose in a village nearby. The first Ebola outbreaks were in 1976 with 2 concurrent outbreaks, one in Sudan , Nzara and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ebola Outbreaks:

The outbreaks primarily occurred in the remote villages of Central Africa. However the recent outbreaks have taken toll of West Africa in major urban and rural areas, which were reported in March 2014. The most severely affected countries till date have been Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

WBG's Endowments for Ebola:

  • In November 2014, the World Bank Group (WBG) approved US$285 million grant for the Ebola crisis that has affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
  • Previously, WBG announced US$1 billion for all countries hit hard by Ebola crisis and this includes the November 2014 grant
  • In September 2014, WBG approved the Ebola Emergency Response Project that includes US$72 million for Guinea, US$98 million for Sierra Leone and US$115 million for Liberia

Grants from King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia:

The Saudi Arabian King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has extended a US$35 million grant to aid in the fight against Ebola. Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) said that the Ebola fighting programme includes the following elements:
  • Schools will be provided sensors and medical examination equipments to diagnose Ebola. This will assist Ebola treatment and avert its spread.
  • The equipments will enable examination of students at the school's entry point, which will ensure that students are safe from the disease.
  • Airports and railway stations will be provided medical examination equipment and thermal sensors. In this way, the disease can be diagnosed and treated early.
  • Specialized treatment centers will be established in the hard hit countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Suspected cases in schools, public transport and hospitals will be identified. All suspected cases would be received in these specialized centers before referred for further specialized treatment.
  • Mali will have a specialized treatment center established, as there is an outbreak. The center will act to serve potential future epidemics and help will be extended to the country's health authorities.

The President of IDBI highlighted the donation and said that the equipments being financed through this grant will quicken opening schools across affected countries. He added that it will strengthen institutional and health infrastructure to fight current epidemic and potential future epidemics.

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