Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he and his wife Priscilla are donating $25 million to the Center for Disease Control Foundation to help fight Ebola.
In a statement made on Zuckerburg’s Facebook page, he said that, they need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long term global health crisis that ends up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio.
The Ebola epidemic is at a critical turning point. It has infected 8,400 people so far, but it is spreading very quickly and projections suggest it could infect 1 million people or more over the next several months if not addressed.
Zuckerburg also sited that through the donation they believe the grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in the field to prevent this outcome. “Grants like this directly help the frontline responders in their heroic work. These people are on the ground setting up care centers, training local staff, identifying Ebola cases and much more. We are hopeful this will help save lives and get this outbreak under control,” he said.
According to the World Health Organisation, (WHO), since its outbreak Ebola has recorded a death toll tally to 4,447, nearly all of them in West Africa, and the group said the number of probable and suspected cases was 8,914.WHO is aiming to have 70 percent of cases isolated within two months to reverse the outbreak, which has hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia hardest. The death rate in the current Ebola outbreak has increased to 70 percent.
The first cases of the current West African epidemic of Ebola were reported on March 22, 2014, with a report of 49 cases in Guinea. By August 31, 2014, a total of 3,685 probable, confirmed, and suspected cases in West Africa had been reported. To aid in planning for additional disease-control efforts, CDC constructed a modelling tool called Ebola Response to provide estimates of the potential number of future cases.