$35 million grant from Saudi King to fight Ebola
The Saudi Monarch who is also the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has extended a grant of US$35 million to help fight Ebola in West Africa, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) said in a statement to the media.
Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali said that the Ebola fighting programme, initiated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and implemented by IDB, comprises the following elements:
1- Providing schools with thermal sensors and medical examination equipment designed to diagnose the disease, thereby facilitating its treatment and preventing its spread. The equipment will allow governments to open schools for the current academic year. Pupils will be examined at entry to ensure they have not contracted the disease, thus reassuring parents about the safety of their children at school.
2- Providing thermal sensors and medical examination equipment at airports, railway stations and bus stations to diagnose the disease and ensure early treatment.
3- Establishing a specialized treatment centre in each of the three endemic countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, designed to serve suspected cases in schools, hospitals and public transport, and wherever contamination is likely to occur in crowded conditions. Suspected cases will be received in these centres for further medical tests before they are referred for specialized treatment if necessary.
4- Establishing a specialized treatment centre in Mali where Ebola appears to have broken out but is not widespread. The centre will help the country’s health authorities cope with potential epidemics in the future.
In a statement circulated Thursday, 11th December 2014, by the African Press Organization on behalf of the Islamic Development Bank, the IDB Chief was quoted to have emphasized that the kind donation made by King Abdallah will further boost the Islamic world efforts in supporting the international fight against Ebola. It added that the equipment financed by this donation will speed up the opening of schools in the countries concerned, reinforce the institutional and health infrastructure to fight the current epidemic and any potential epidemics in the future, God forbids, thus saving thousands of lives and ensuring the safety of those at risk of contamination.
It would be recalled that the Saudi Arabia based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in October this year, approved US$300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) as Technical Assistance for the fight against the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in Sierra Leone.
The Technical Assistance came a few weeks after an appeal was made by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Alhaji M. S. Kargbo on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone concerning the control of the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) which continues to ravage the country.
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