Press release

Britain to provide new assistance to combat Ebola in West Africa

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK will provide medical support and supplies to contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced on Friday 25 July.

Doctors with Médecins Sans Frontières try to feed a young girl in the high contamination risk zone of a treatment centre in Sierra Leone. Picture: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos
Doctors with Médecins Sans Frontières try to feed a young girl in the high contamination risk zone of a treatment centre in Sierra Leone. Picture: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos

A new £2 million package of assistance will be made available immediately to partners including the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières that are operating in Sierra Leone and Liberia to tackle the outbreak.

This funding will:

  • Fill critical gaps in the front-line response by providing technical staff including epidemiologists, clinicians, information managers and logistics managers for six months
  • Improve public understanding of the disease by increasing media messaging and direct engagement with communities, including women’s groups
  • Expand the investigation, tracing and treatment of new cases
  • Provide safe and dignified burial to the deceased.

Justine Greening said:

This Ebola outbreak poses a serious public health risk to West Africa.

Britain is working with the countries affected and the international community to ensure that the outbreak is contained and help reaches those in need.

This latest round of funding is in addition to support the UK has been providing since the outbreak of the disease in February 2014.

In Sierra Leone and Liberia the UK has been supporting agencies to increase awareness and understanding of the disease within the community, to improve treatment for those infected, and to prevent its spread within and across borders. This includes working with the WHO to train health workers and provide the supplies they need to tackle the outbreak.

The UK has also funded initiatives to improve public information, including radio messaging programmes, on the outbreak in Sierra Leone to help control the spread of the disease.

In Liberia the UK has provided chlorine and other materials for hygiene and sanitising.

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Published 29 July 2014