Saudi Arabia Provides US$35m Grant to Fight Ebola

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The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has extended a grant of US$35 million to help fight Ebola in West Africa.

In a statement to the media on this occasion, Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) said that the Ebola fighting program, initiated by the Saudi King and implemented by IDB, is designed for four areas.

The first area, the statement said, is to provide schools with thermal sensors and medical examination equipment designed to diagnose the disease, thereby facilitating its treatment and preventing its spread. The equipment, it said, “will allow governments to open schools for the current academic year. Pupils will be examined at entry to ensure they have not contracted the disease, thus reassuring parents about the safety of their children at school.”

The second area of the grant is to provide thermal sensors and medical examination equipment at airports, railway stations and bus stations to diagnose the disease and ensure early treatment.

The third is to establish a specialized treatment centre in each of the three endemic countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, designed to serve suspected cases in schools, hospitals and public transport, and wherever contamination is likely to occur in crowded conditions. Suspected cases will be received in these centers for further medical tests before they are referred for specialized treatment if necessary.

The statement said the forth is to establish a specialized treatment centre in Mali where Ebola appears to have broken out but is not widespread. The centre will help the country’s health authorities cope with potential epidemics in the future.

The IDB President emphasized that the kind donation made by the Saudi King will further boost the Islamic world efforts in supporting the international fight against Ebola.

“The equipment financed by this donation,” he added, “will speed up the opening of schools in the countries concerned, reinforce the institutional and health infrastructure to fight the current epidemic and any potential epidemics in the future, Allah forbids, thus saving thousands of lives and ensuring the safety of those at risk of contamination.”

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