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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
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Ireland commits a further €144K to fight worst Ebola outbreak in history

The outbreak started in Guinea in early 2014 and has spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ebola virus
Ebola virus

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT has committed an additional €144,000 to help fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

Joe Costello, the Minister for Trade and Development, made the announcement this morning – one of his last acts in the role after being demoted in today’s junior ministry reshuffle.

The funding will be used to train health workers, provide protective health equipment, and support local Ministries of Health.

Costello stressed the importance of the international response to the outbreak, which started in Guinea in early 2014 and has spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 separate locations across the three countries. It is the worst outbreak of the highly-contagious virus in history.

“Sierra Leone and Liberia are partner countries for Ireland’s aid programme and we have already provided almost €230,000 to fight the disease in West Africa. This new funding will go to help the international efforts which are being coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” Costello said.

“There is serious concern about the spread of the regional outbreak to Sierra Leone and Liberia and the WHO has deployed 150 experts to west Africa to help prevent the further spread of the virus.

“The situation remains very precarious. Irish Aid and our Embassy in Freetown are closely monitoring the situation, and coordinating response efforts with Governments and other UN, EU and NGO partners,” he added.

Deaths

Latest reports from the WHO state that there have been a total of 888 Ebola cases, including 539 deaths, since February.

The funding announced today consists of €100,000 to the International Rescue Committee in Sierra Leone to help fund awareness training, training of health workers and protective gear and hygiene materials, and €44,350 to support the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia.

Ireland has already also provided €85,000 to Concern Worldwide for their programme that aims to prevent the spread of Ebola through community awareness training and health and hygiene awareness in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Irish Aid is the Government’s programme of overseas assistance. It is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Read: Emergency talks look for ways to halt worst outbreak of Ebola in history

Read: West Africa’s Ebola virus outbreak is now “out of control”

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Órla Ryan

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