US: American billionaire donates US100 million to fight Ebola

New York, US (PANA) - American billionaire, Paul Allen, who owns the Seattle Seahawks, a professional American football franchise based in Seattle, State of Washington, and the Portland Trail Blazers, a top-flight US National Basketball Association (NBA) team, has pledged to donate US$100 million to the fight the deadly Ebola virus.

A PANA Correspondent in New York, reports that the billionaire, in a television chat with US leading international sports channel, ESPN, on Saturday, said: "We are faced with a huge challenge with Ebola."

"If you have one of these epidemics with the number of cases potentially doubling every 20 days, to get ahead of that and contain it, you have to send large numbers of health workers over to the affected areas, and get them in place and get communications going with communities.

"If the health workers get ill, they want to know they can get medevaced (medical evacuation) out of there. So we have been trying to do a few things, to build containers that can go on planes to help with the health workers evacuated," he disclosed.

He said: "I am just trying to help show the way that we need to really increase what we're doing now, because we're currently chasing the expansion of the disease, and we have got to get ahead of expansion."

Mr. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft, with the world's second richest man, Bill Gates, said that
among the initiatives he is supporting is the development of two medevac containment units that the US State Department can use to safely evacuate health workers who become infected.

The American billionaire also said he is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to
increase its capacity for handling the logistics of transporting international aid workers, as well as establishing a fund to help cover the costs of emergency transportation of the workers.

He further noted that money also would go to the University of Massachusetts Medical School,
US, to help provide decontamination and lab equipment to Liberian hospitals, as well as
community outreach and education in Liberia.

"I think we have now seen that even something that is happening in West Africa, how it can arrive on our doorsteps very quickly. We are all interconnected in today's world," he added.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 25Oct2014

25 october 2014 20:33:00

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