Battle Against Ebola Far From Over in West Africa

According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 5,000 people have died from the Ebola virus in West Africa during this unprecedented epidemic.

Since CDC ramped up its Ebola response in early July, more than 700 CDC staff members have provided logistics, staffing, communication, analytics, management and other support functions. More than 170 CDC staff have been deployed in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to assist with various vital response efforts such as disease surveillance, contact tracing, database management and health education. 

The response efforts to date are making a real difference. Yesterday, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia announced an end to the state of emergency in a national address, citing progress in the fight against Ebola. And while some recent news out of the region is encouraging, the battle with Ebola is far from over. In total, more than 14,000 people have been infected with this terrible disease. Public health officials in West Africa, in the United States and around the world know that there remains much important work to be done from government, the corporate and philanthropic sectors and individuals to stop Ebola.

The CDC Foundation through the support of our donors has provided critical materials and services to meet on the ground needs using our Global Disaster Response Fund, but more help is needed. In recent weeks, you may have seen media reports, such as this one from U.S. News & World Report, outlining our efforts in West Africa and the donations we have received. Dr. Priscilla Chan also recently spoke to NPR’s Marketplace about why she and her husband, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, decided to donate $25 million to the CDC Foundation for the fight against Ebola. I am so grateful to all of our donors for stepping up to help CDC advance and extend its life-saving work in West Africa.

You can help support CDC's vital Ebola response by making a donation to the CDC Foundation's Global Disaster Response Fund. Early in the response efforts, the CDC Foundation’s board of directors acknowledged the tremendous needs presented by the Ebola epidemic and committed to absorbing 100 percent of the Foundation’s administrative costs associated with this fund so that every penny donated by others is used to support CDC’s emergency mandate.

Join us to help stop the Ebola epidemic and to contribute to the longer-term strengthening of public health capacity in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Your gift will save lives.

Charles Stokes is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.