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Grant for Ebola awareness initiatives in Lofa

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Plan International USA Wednesday announced a $75,000 grant from ExxonMobil to help contain the spread of the Ebola virus here. The grant will support local authorities who are responding to the epidemic by disseminating prevention messages via TV, radio, and SMS. It will also support the supply of hand washing kits to all schools in the county of Lofa.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. With no effective vaccine or treatment available, raising awareness of the risk factors of Ebola infection and the protective measures individuals can take is the only way to reduce human infection and death.

The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in seven years climbed to 61 in Guinea, which has meant its West African neighbors have been focused on preventing the spread of the disease. Liberia’s Minister of Health confirmed that the virus is now within the territorial limits of the country.

“This epidemic is threatening to endanger a vast population, thus warranting a multi-country, multisector, and multi-partner response,” said Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International

USA. “We are thankful for the generous support from ExxonMobil. This grant is a critical component in Plan’s work to prevent the spread of this devastating disease.”

“The confirmation of Ebola outbreak in Lofa, Liberia where Plan has its biggest program unit is of grave concern for us. Cases are now being suspected in Nimba and Margibi County as well,” said Koala

Oumarou, Country Director of Plan Liberia. “Plan is working closely with the Ministry of Health at the National and County level in Lofa especially on prevention messages focusing on health and hygiene in schools and communities. The contribution from our donors is crucial in this life saving mission.”

“It is my sincere hope that our contribution will enhance the government of Liberia’s efforts to put in place all necessary measures to contain the outbreak of this deadly disease,” said Keith Conrad, Lead Country Manager, Liberia, ExxonMobil.

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