Switzerland will contribute an additional CHF1 million to help Liberia fight the Ebola epidemic, the foreign ministry announced on Monday. The funds complement the CHF650,000 already pledged since the epidemic began in March.
A plane with 14 tons of supplies and two experts was set to leave for the Liberian capital, Monrovia, on Monday night. Among the supplies were bottles of disinfectant, protective gloves and masks, body bags, intravenous drips and rehydration solutions. Employees of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) are to meet the plane in Liberia and hand over the supplies to local authorities.
Recent progression of the epidemic has underscored the urgent need for additional medical supplies and staff on the scene, the foreign ministry said. As part of its response, the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) has activated its agreement with the Geneva University Hospital (HUG) in order to send a joint mission to West Africa for a needs assessment. The head of the medical specialist group within SHA and the chief physician of HUG’s Infectious Diseases Section were to leave Switzerland on Monday for Liberia.
The two experts will take measures to ensure the health of the SHA employees at the scene and to assess the situation in the area.
Ebola, caused by a virus, is a haemorrhagic disease with a fatality rate of up to 90% in humans.
swissinfo.ch and agencies