Doh calls for urgent Ebola response

In response to the scale of the ongoing Ebola outbreak the Department of Health (DoH) in South Africa has announced the creation of the Ebola Response Fund with a goal of raising R250-million to help coordinate and manage relief assistance for the affected countries. The Ebola outbreak in Africa is an unprecedented crisis, with global implications. More than 5000 cases and over 2600 deaths have been reported as of September 18th, 2014, primarily in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The DoH is making an urgent call to South Africa’s private sector to donate to the Ebola Response Fund. The objective of the Fund is to support South Africa’s drive to assist the affected countries to halt the social and humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in the region.

The DoH is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to coordinate and harmonize support for the response to the Ebola outbreak. The government of South Africa has itself already committed R32.5-million.

A number of major companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange have also pledged their support in cash and in kind to the Ebola Response Fund, at a meeting convened by the Director-General of Health on Friday 19th September 2014 at the JSE.

“A pledge to donate money to the Ebola Response Fund will go a long way into helping Africa tackle this social and humanitarian crisis,” says Ms Malebona Matsoso, Director-General of Health in South Africa. “We are counting on South Africa’s private sector to actively support this attempt to stop the spread of the Ebola virus across the continent. We believe that corporate South Africa will respond positively to this clarion call to assist the affected countries. We’re grateful to a number of major South African companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange who have already pledged millions to the Ebola Response Fund, as well as committing their companies to other in-kind contributions.”

The donations will be used to support the immediate response to the unfolding crisis, in the following areas:

· Setting up a 40-bed Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone

· Provision of qualified people to staff the treatment unit

· Strengthening of the surveillance system and database

· Supporting social mobilisation efforts in the communities in affected countries

· Expanding laboratory capacity, and

· Project management

Contributions in cash or in kind to the Ebola Response Fund will be managed by the University of the Witwatersrand (Faculty of Health Sciences and Right to Care) working in partnership with the Department of Health. The DoH will work with the World Health Organisation country office to coordinate all efforts. All funds will be audited and strict corporate governance will be adhered to.

Companies wishing to donate are asked to please contact Dr Barry Kistnasamy at 082 806 7210 or