Private companies join UNDP’s effort against Ebola
New York, 18 December — Private sector organizations have stepped up their support to UNDP’s Ebola response, donating equipment and delivering services that will both benefit communities immediately and serve them long after the epidemic has ended.
“Businesses are now helping us fight Ebola with unprecedented innovation and creativity. Their contribution will also stay in those countries on the long-term, serving very important basic needs,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa.
UNDP has announced that Sierra Leone will begin to use new, eco-friendly sterilizing equipment to help dispose of the vast amounts of contaminated protective equipment and infectious waste generated in treating Ebola patients.
The sterilizing machine, manufactured by a South African company called Mediclave, decontaminates used medical equipment and waste such as syringes, personal protective suits and gloves through several cycles of high-pressure steam and vacuuming, allowing for their safe disposal. The equipment can be used in treating other diseases.
Working in close collaboration with national mobile operators in Sierra Leone, UNDP will also coordinate government payments to Ebola response workers such as burials teams, health personnel, case finders and community workers.
In Liberia, UNDP will be distributing a first batch of 240 solar lanterns, donated by Panasonic, to health workers in Monrovia, allowing them to work at night.
The lamps will also be given out to Ebola survivors, who have close to nothing when they exit treatment clinics, because their belongings are cremated when they test positive. Quarantined homes, which often have limited access to energy in the first place, will also be receiving them.
In addition, 1,200 solar radios developed by South-Africa-based NGO Lifeline Energy, were distributed in four of Liberia’s 15 counties, allowing people to listen to UNDP-sponsored radio discussions on how Ebola funds are being used locally. Listeners country-wide were able to call in and make suggestions on existing gaps and possible priorities. The items are manufactured by the for-profit branch of the organization.
UNDP plans to scale up the initiative and distribute another 3,000 radios targeting patients in Ebola Treatment Units, survivors and others.
UNDP today also kicked off a partnership with Svani Group Limited, a Ghanaian vehicle dealership operating across West Africa, to support the United Nations’ response to Ebola.
Svani handed over eight armored vehicles that will be used by the UN Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana.
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