Partnering to Protect Health Workers From Ebola

Prepared by AmeriCares

Donated bleach from Clorox allows health workers in Sierra Leone and Liberia to prevent Ebola infection. Here, a recent shipment of Clorox is unloaded into AmeriCares warehouse in Monrovia, Liberia.Almost a full year since the largest Ebola outbreak in history began, the the epidemic’s death toll has passed 9,000. The greatest number of fatalities have occurred in Liberia and Sierra Leone; in recent weeks, there has been an increase in cases in Guinea. From the start of the crisis, AmeriCares has provided under-resourced hospitals and health facilities with the supplies they need to combat the outbreak, sending 43 shipments of medicine, supplies and protective equipment to partners in the three most affected countries.

At the start of the crisis, health workers were at risk of infection as stocks were low of even the most basic protective supplies. “Local health authorities provided us with only four gowns and one box of masks,” says Raphael Frankfurter, executive director of AmeriCares local partner in Sierra Leone, Wellbody Alliance, which operates a clinic and supplies hospitals in the Ebola zone.

In addition to protective equipment, chlorine solutions made with bleach are essential for infection prevention and control at local health centers. Thanks to a generous donation by Clorox, AmeriCares was able to provide 36,000 bottles of Clorox® Regular-Bleach to health facilities in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“Clorox has been essential in fighting this, the greatest outbreak ever,” said Dr. Yusuf Dibba, Wellbody’s medical director. “The donated Clorox has been used daily at the Wellbody Alliance Clinic to disinfect personnel and surfaces and we have shared it with the Ebola treatment unit, too. I really cannot exaggerate how essential and useful this donation has been.”

“It means a lot to us — and especially our Sierra Leonean staff — to have such support coming in from abroad,” Frankfurter added. AmeriCares continues to provide critical supplies as well as support for safety training.

“The Ebola crisis highlights the need to support frontline health workers all over the world,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “We will help contain this Ebola outbreak, restore basic health services and prepare health workers for future epidemics.” Because of donors such as Clorox, health workers are now receiving the supplies necessary to protect them from infection.

AmeriCares thanks Clorox for its generous donation and support for health workers fighting the largest Ebola outbreak in history. Together we are improving global health and helping people live longer, healthier lives.

AmeriCares is an emergency response and global health organization committed to saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis in the United States and around the world.