The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and assist those affected by the deadly virus which has claimed more than 110 lives in Guinea and Liberia in recent weeks.
The Commission has increased its funding for immediate health operations, experts and risk assessments to €1.1 million, and is contributing with medical equipment to help accelerate diagnostics.
"Acting rapidly is crucial. We are reinforcing our support to partner organisations in Guinea and neighbouring countries to ensure urgently needed healthcare to those hit by the epidemic and to stop it from expanding further," said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
The new funds will allow Médecins Sans Frontières to isolate patients, give psychological support, trace suspected cases and provide protective equipment and training to health workers. The new funds will also support the World Health Organization (WHO) in epidemiological surveillance and the provision medical supplies, equipment, transport and health personnel.
Three humanitarian experts from the Commission are in Conakry and Monrovia to monitor the situation and liaise with local authorities and partners. Six specialists of the European Mobile Lab project (EMLab) for dangerous infectious diseases are also in Guinea with a mobile laboratory unit. Equipped for rapid analysis of samples, this is helping reduce the number of un-diagnosed cases and prevent the further spread of the disease.