South Africa seeks $24 mn for Ebola-hit nations

The South African Department of Health (DOH) Thursday said it seeks to raise 250 million rand (about 24 million dollars) to coordinate and manage relief assistance for Ebolo-affected countries.

IANS| Updated: Sep 26, 2014, 12:04 PM IST

Cape Town: The South African Department of Health (DOH) Thursday said it seeks to raise 250 million rand (about 24 million dollars) to coordinate and manage relief assistance for Ebolo-affected countries.

DOH is the executive department of the South African government and assigned to health matters.

The DOH is making an urgent call to South Africa's private sector to donate to the Ebola Response Fund, set up by the department last month, Xinhua quoted department's spokesperson Joe Maila as saying Friday.

The fund's objective 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 harmonise support for the response to the Ebola outbreak, Maila said.

The SA government has already committed 32.5 million rand (about 3 million dollars) to the fund.

The donations will be used to support the immediate response to the unfolding crisis, which includes the setting up a 40-bed Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone, provision of qualified people to staff the treatment unit, the strengthening of the surveillance system and database, support for social mobilisation efforts in the communities in affected countries, expansion of laboratory capacity, and project management.

"A pledge to donate money to the Ebola Response Fund will go a long way into helping Africa tackle this social and humanitarian crisis," Matsoso said.

"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," she added.