US’ Direct Relief Airlifts Ebola Materials to Liberia

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A United States-based Direct Relief, has airlifted what it believed to be the “largest single private airlift of medical commodities,” to Liberia.

The items sent by Direct Relief came to five consignees including National  Drug Service (29 pallets); Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (in partnership with CHAI and Last Mile Health– 69 pallets); Africare ( 55 pallets); Christian Aid Ministries ( 43 pallets) and Centers for Disease Control ( 4 pallets).

In an email to some members of the National Ebola Taskforce, Andrew MacCalla, Direct Relief, Director, International Programs & Emergency Preparedness and Response said: “Direct Relief is grateful to be able to support the work you are all doing in Liberia to help fight this terrible outbreak and hope this will garner more attention to the needs on the ground.”

Materials contained on the 747 Charter flight, which departed from John F Kennedy Airport in New York on Saturday, September 20th and landed at RIA Sunday, include 9.8 million defined daily doses of medications; enough pre-mix oral rehydration solution (40,200 liters) to supply two Ebola wards for one year; and at least 170,000 overall gowns; 120,000 masks, and 2.8 million gloves.

These items, according to Direct Relief’s calculation, are expected to meet the annual needs of approximately 280 health workers.

The items sent to Liberia are Direct Relief’s 11th to be shipped to Ebola-hit regions.

According to the Liberian Embassy in the US, the medical supplies will also support the efforts of local nonprofits that include the Medical Research Centre and Wellbody Alliance in Sierra Leone, and Africare and Last Mile Health in Liberia.

Liberia Ambassador to the US Jeremiah C. Sulunteh and Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan were on hand to see the relief out.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, which has offices in Liberia, will also assist in the national distribution of supplies.

“This airlift truly exemplifies the spirit of the Clinton Global Initiative – to see a pressing issue in the world, and work together to commit to bringing their specific resources and specialties to bear on the problem,” said Bob Harrison, CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative. “I’m looking forward to seeing the additional work and commitments at our 10th CGI Annual Meeting this week, that will provide immediate and long-term assistance on the ground in West Africa to fight the Ebola Outbreak.”

Valued at nearly US$6 million, the 370 pallets of cargo contain product donations from companies, including: 3M, Actavis Pharma, Inc., Allergan, Inc., Ansell, BD, Baxter International Inc., Cera Products, Inc., Chattem Inc., Covidien, Hospira, Inc., Kimberly-Clark, Merck & Co., Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Mylan Laboratories Inc., Omron Healthcare, Inc., Prestige Brands, Pro2 Solutions Inc., and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“Ansell is in a unique position to provide support to leading organizations through Direct Relief in response to this crisis,” said Anthony Lopez, President and General Manager of Ansell Medical Solutions — a company that has donated millions of gloves to the Ebola response effort.

Mr. Lopez hoped that the shipment to the affected areas will serve to contain and, especially, eradicate the ongoing suffering caused by this epidemic.

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