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Monday, October 20, 2014

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AmeriCares aiding Ebola epidemic victims

Published 10:22 am, Monday, September 1, 2014
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Critical medicines and protective equipment for health workers on the front lines of the Ebola epidemic left AmeriCares Stamford headquarters Aug. 25 destined for Liberia.

The shipment contained antibiotics, medical supplies and desperately needed safety equipment that offer the only protection for health workers fighting the outbreak, including 15,000 pairs of gloves and nearly 10,000 protective masks.

The AmeriCares shipment was headed to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where it joined a humanitarian airlift organized by Airlink, a disaster response organization that links non-governmental organizations with airlines for air and cargo transportation. The relief flight to Monrovia was scheduled to leave JFK Aug. 26 carrying 15,000 pounds of relief supplies from five organizations, including AmeriCares.

More than 1,400 people have reportedly died from the outbreak -- the deadliest on record -- including 129 health workers, and the World Health Organization has declared an international public health emergency.

"While there is no cure for Ebola, personal protective equipment including gloves and masks can help prevent transmission," AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia said. "Safety equipment is the only way to protect health workers on the front lines of the epidemic."

The humanitarian flight is AmeriCares sixth shipment to West Africa since the virus first appeared in Guinea last winter and more aid deliveries are planned.