The CDC Foundation has announced a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The grant to the CDC Foundation's Global Disaster Response Fund will help provide essential materials and assistance to the CDC, which has activated its Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate the response to the outbreak and provide technical assistance. To date, the CDC has deployed more than seventy public health experts to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, the countries most affected, and plans to send more. Immediate needs among CDC staff working with local personnel include personal protective equipment, thermal scanners, infection control training, and laptop computers. Also needed are more isolation beds and Ebola treatment centers, as well as funding for emergency operations centers in the four countries, where more than twenty-six hundred cases of the disease have been identified and at least fourteen hundred people have died.
"The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented and, unfortunately, it's likely to get worse before it gets better," said CDC director Tom Frieden. "However, with support from the CDC Foundation's Global Disaster Response Fund, staff on the ground will be in a better position to try to stop and prevent further spread of this devastating disease."
"The spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa represents a global public health crisis," said Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. "We are privileged to assist CDC in its heroic efforts to contain this outbreak, and we are confident of their ability to control this scourge — provided they have the support required to do the job. Additional resources are urgently needed, and we encourage other funders to respond as well."