Ebola virus has infected thousands of people in West Africa. The alert has been sounded by the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and the world is scrambling to respond to curtail further suffering and bring this epidemic under control. As President Obama said yesterday at the United Nations:
"Ebola is a horrific disease. It’s wiping out entire families. It has turned simple acts of love and comfort and kindness -- like holding a sick friend’s hand, or embracing a dying child -- into potentially fatal acts. If ever there were a public health emergency deserving an urgent, strong and coordinated international response, this is it."
Every day, in hot, humid, and extremely difficult environments, health care workers in Ebola-affected countries are performing critical tasks that save lives and prevent the spread of the virus. Personal protective equipment (PPE) offers critical protection, but also is the greatest source of discomfort and stress for the workers. While PPEs protect health care workers, they cannot be worn for more than 40 minutes in hot climates, severely limiting the time health care workers can care for their patients.
In response to this challenge and the unprecedented Ebola outbreak, USAID is partnering with the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Department of Defense to launch Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development to help health care workers on the front lines provide better care and stop the spread of Ebola.
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Last updated: December 12, 2014