Call on private sector to help fight Ebola

Private enterprises can help halt the scourge of Ebola affecting some parts of East Africa by making cash or in-kind donations to the Ebola Response Fund.

A Department of Health initiative, the Fund has set a goal of raising R250 million to coordinate and manage relief assistance for the affected countries, primarily in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Donations will be used in the following areas:

  • Setting up a 40-bed Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone
  • Provision of qualified people to staff the treatment unit
  • Strengthening of the surveillance system and database
  • Supporting social mobilisation efforts in the communities in affected countries
  • Expanding laboratory capacity, and
  • Project management

Already, a number of major companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange have pledged support to the Ebola Response Fund. The pledges were made during a meeting convened by the Department of Health’s Director-General Malebona Matsoso on 19 September 2014 at the JSE.

During the meeting, Matsoso said a pledge to donate money to the Ebola Response Fund will go a long way in helping Africa tackle the social and humanitarian crisis. The South African Government has already committed R32.5 million.

“We are counting on South Africa’s private sector to actively support this attempt to stop the spread of the Ebola virus across the continent. We believe that corporate South Africa will respond positively to this clarion call to assist the affected countries,’ she said.

The department is also working with the World Health Organisation to coordinate and harmonise support for the response to the Ebola outbreak which has claimed over 2 600 people as of 18 September 2014.

Matsoso said that contributions in cash or in kind to the Ebola Response Fund will be managed by the University of the Witwatersrand (Faculty of Health Sciences and Right to Care) in partnership with the Department of Health.

Companies wishing to donate are asked to contact Dr Barry Kistnasamy at 082 806 7210 or email barry@fnbconnect.co.za.