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Ebola crisis fund set up by African business leaders


An emergency fund has been set up by top African business leaders to help countries hit by the Ebola outbreak.

After a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the group raised $28.5 million to deploy at least 1,000 health workers to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Experts say that if the Ebola virus is to be speedily contained, it needs to be tackled in these three countries.

Nearly 5,000 people out of about 14,000 cases have been killed by Ebola, most of them in Liberia.

Speaking at the end of the Addis Abada meeting, African Union chairman Dlamini Zuma said the resources mobilized would be part of a longer term program to deal with such outbreaks in the future.

The chairman of telecommunications giant Econet Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa, said that several companies had pledged money to the emergency fund – to be managed by the African Development Bank.

The Ethiopia meeting took place as Liberia was reported by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on November 7 to have seen a significant reduction in the number of new cases.

It warned, however, that Ebola was still on the rise in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Nearly 5,000 people out of about 14,000 cases have been killed by Ebola, most of them in Liberia

Nearly 5,000 people out of about 14,000 cases have been killed by Ebola, most of them in Liberia

Of the West African countries hit by the 11-month outbreak, Liberia has seen the most deaths.

However, last weekend Liberian health ministry said two-thirds of the 696 beds in the country’s treatment centers were empty.

Liberia’s government has been running an awareness campaign, advertising the best health practices and installing hand washing stations at buildings across the country.


However, despite significant contributions from the US, the UK, China and others, the head of the UN mission charged with fighting Ebola says more help is urgently needed.

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