West Africa Ebola Outbreak

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When the deadly Ebola outbreak erupted in West Africa last spring, Direct Relief responded – as aggressively and expansively as possible — and continues to do so.

As of February 2015, Direct Relief has sent 40 emergency shipments carrying medical aid with a value of nearly $25 million that have been distributed to more than 1,000 hospitals and clinics in coordination with the following agencies:



The Ministry of Health

Sierra Leone



A Direct Relief-chartered Boeing 747 departs John F. Kennedy International with 100 tons of emergency medical assistance for communities gripped by Ebola.

With the substantial decrease in new Ebola cases in West Africa, Direct Relief’s response is now focused on helping  partners in affected countries tackle both the pre-existing health challenges exacerbated by the

The Direct Relief shipment is absolutely critical, as we are almost out of our existing stock of gloves and gowns.

— Raphael Frankfurter, Executive Director, Wellbody Alliance

outbreak as well as the still serious threats that Ebola presents.

Most recently, an airlift of Health Facility Supply Modules containing essential supplies needed to operate a functional medical clinic to help restore confidence in health care for both providers and patients. The airlift represents a pivot toward helping local health facilities deal with both the pre-existing health challenges exacerbated by the outbreak as well as the still serious threats that Ebola presents.

These efforts are made possible by the support of thousands of individuals, dozens of foundations, and nearly 50 companies that include:

The Paul Allen Family Foundation
Skoll Global
Threats Fund
Humanity United
Greenbaum Foundation
Abbvie Foundation
Abbott Fund
Eli Lilly
Sappo Hill
Virgin Unite


What is Ebola?

Ebola is an infectious and often fatal disease that results in fever and severe internal bleeding. Ebola is highly contagious through infected bodily fluids such as sweat, blood, and saliva, and remains infectious even after death.

What is the rate of survival?

The survival rate of the current outbreak is around 50%. Survival rates have varied from 10% to 75% in past outbreaks. More than 1,1554  people have survived Ebola during this outbreak, as of December, 2014, according to the WHO. The youngest survivor is reported to be two months. 

What can be done to improve survival rates?

There are no medications effective in curing the virus, but supportive hospital care can significantly increase survival.

What is needed and how can I help?

In additional to other critical supplies, here’s a list of some of the most requested items and their approximate value:

$4 Bag of basic IV saline
$6 Pack of 50 exam gloves
$10 Isolation gown

$20 Box of sterile syringes
$25 Pair of rubber boots
$60 Case of face masks

Help the Ebola response by donating today >>

Read Direct Relief’s Policy on Ebola Donations for more on Direct Relief’s commitment to financial accountability and transparency.

Read Direct Relief’s blog for updates on the response.


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