The Coca-Cola Company in Liberia, through its Africa Foundation, has pledged to donate $200,000 worth of medical supplies to Liberia’s Ministry of Health in an effort to help thwart the deadly spread of the Ebola virus. The donations are being made in conjunction with the Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC).
The initial shipment of supplies consisted of protective equipment such as latex gloves, gowns, face shields, face masks and shoe covers, according to the Liberian Observer. In addition to the medical supplies, the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company provided water, canned soft drinks and juices, buckets with faucets, and chlorine, the Observer notes.
Attorney Gabriel Johnson, who serves as the company’s human resources and public affairs and communications manager, said Coca-Cola is “working with local healthcare and relief workers to broadcast important messages about prevention and good health practices… If someone feels unwell, it’s important to seek medical attention from trained health workers at clinics and hospitals rather than risking exposure to the family.”
Over the course of the past four years, the Coca-Cola’s Africa Foundation has donated over $2 million worth of medical equipment and supplies to countries throughout Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and the Ebola-stricken West Africa nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
At least five million children in West Africa are out of school due to fears of spreading the deadly hemorrhagic virus. Reuters reported that the school’s closures could have devastating social impacts on youth, particularly women, such as early marriages and pregnancy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as of December of this year there have been over 17,000 Ebola cases and over 6,000 Ebola-related deaths in West Africa alone; that number is said to be grossly underestimated by several experts. One expert predicted up to 5 million people would perish at the hands of the Ebola virus by the time the epidemic is fully contained.
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