Oxfam reaction to World Bank additional $100 million pledge for health workers in Ebola stricken countries

In answer to the World Bank additional $100 million pledge for health workers in Ebola stricken countries, Nicolas Mombrial, Head of the Oxfam International office in Washington D.C says:

"We applaud President Kim's leadership in committing further funding from the World Bank Group to support countries affected by Ebola. The deployment of health workers it will support is critically necessary. We hope that the pledge is quickly translated into cash on the ground and the promised health workers will arrive soon."

The Ebola outbreak puts a magnifying lens on the chronic problems of weak and under-funded health services in Africa. The World Bank must also lead donors to commit long-term funding for public health and education services in Africa."

Notes to editors: 

What’s the situation on the ground now?

The number of Ebola cases, and suspected Ebola cases, has now reached nearly 10,000 and the outbreak has claimed over 4,800 lives. It is widespread in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with isolated cases elsewhere. Outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal have been contained.

Infection rates continue to grow with the number of cases doubling about every 20 days. The WHO has put the death rate from this outbreak at 70 percent and has warned that there could be 10,000 new cases a week in West Africa by December.

But these numbers vastly understate the impact of the crisis as health services have collapsed in Sierra Leone and Liberia, other routine diseases go untreated, schools are closed, poor people are losing their income as fields, markets and goods have become inaccessible, and panic and fear spreads in an already fragile region.

What is Oxfam doing about Ebola?

Our focus is to prevent the spread of the disease. Oxfam is tripling its Ebola prevention program in Sierra Leone and Liberia and aims to help over four million people at risk of catching the disease.

Oxfam is significantly stepping up its water and sanitation supply to Ebola treatment centers and community care centers, and its supply of hygiene materials in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It is also boosting its mass public information campaign over the radio, billboards and text messages about how people can best protect themselves from catching the disease.

Oxfam is providing water supplies at treatment and isolation centers, hand washing facilities in community areas, hygiene kits to communities (soap, bleach etc), supplying of personal protective clothing for front line community health workers and burial teams, and training for community health workers.

The public can support Oxfam's Ebola response.

 

Contact information: 

Sarah Grainger sgrainger1@oxfam.org.uk, +44 7810 18 15 14

Oxfam has a Press Officer available for interviews in Monrovia, Liberia.

See also: Mistrust and confusion are allowing Ebola to thrive in West Africa (Oxfam press release, 27 October 2014)

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.