Doctors in the fieldArticle submitted by: Brett Dvoretz

The Ebola epidemic is spreading every day and, to-date, the international response hasn’t been sufficient. James Dorbor Jallah, the national coordinator of Liberia’s Ebola Task Force, was recently quoted as saying “Ebola is moving at the speed of sound and the aid organizations are moving at the speed of a snail.”

Despite a significant increase in international efforts, evidence suggests the epidemic is still out of control. A number of corporations have begun to realize their help is needed to combat this outbreak. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s corporate aid tracker, $25.4 million in cash and additional contributions have been made from companies such as Clorox, Samsung, Bayer, IKEA, and more. A complete list of donors is available here.

Currently though, the needs to stop this pandemic still aren’t being met. Foreign governments can’t get resources on the ground quick enough to stop the spread of Ebola, but it appears the private sector just might be able to. In August, a spreadsheet was started by companies with operations in affected areas to determine who has vehicles, buildings, machinery, health facilities, and other infrastructure in strategic locations.

Many private sector companies have nation-wide logistics and supply chains already in place that have taken over decade to create. The struggle now is connecting the corporate group to the global deployment against Ebola so we may finally begin to take control of the situation. Some of the worst case scenarios have projections of over 1 million cases by the end of January.

This is a scary thought for a disease with a 50% mortality rate. On October 8th, the WHO reported that we still have barely 25% of the bed capacity needed in emergency treatment centers to help stop Ebola from spreading. It’s sad to think that because of the slow response by the international community, many of the deaths are healthcare workers trying their best to combat the disease. Most healthcare professionals become infected due to a lack of protection and overexposure caused by a shortage of resources.

Direct Relief’s Ebola Emergency Response project has sent over $862,000 in medical resources to health facilities on the ground to help protect healthcare workers. They have just sent their largest shipment ever with over 100 tons of aid, but they desperately need more funding. Find out how you can help. IMA World Health is another foundation working feverishly to stop Ebola in its tracks, but even with the best efforts of over 50 NGOs around the world, this is still the worst and longest Ebola epidemic ever.

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