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The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the largest in history, has been ongoing since March 2014. The countries most affected are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with widespread and intense transmission of Ebola continuing. The outbreak has been declared over in Senegal and Nigeria. As of November 23, 2014, the World Health Organization was reporting a total of 15,935 cases and 5,689 deaths.
Canada continues to be a world leader in its efforts to help fight Ebola in West Africa with considerable resources being dedicated to supported health, humanitarian and security interventions.
Join the Fight Against Ebola
Today, the Government of Canada launched the “Join the Fight Against Ebola” campaign to recruit Canadian healthcare workers, including federal government employees, to go work in existing Ebola Treatment Centres in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. With some of the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the world, Canada is well placed to help stem the tide of this deadly outbreak.
The Government of Canada will promote and support the recruitment of healthcare workers through the Canadian Red Cross to help manage existing Treatment Centres in West Africa, providing care for patients and allowing facilities to expand the number of treatment beds to keep up with growing demand.
The goal of the campaign is to recruit medical doctors and nurses, psychosocial support workers, water and sanitation engineers, and infection prevention and control workers starting in December 2014 The Canadian Red Cross will be responsible for screening, training and sending volunteers, as well as providing in-country accommodations, transportation and logistic support, including medical evacuation.
The government-led online and social media campaign will include recruitment web pages, online advertising, stakeholder outreach and a number of media and other promotional events.
Access Canada.ca/ebolavirus to find out more about how you can join the fight against Ebola and make a difference as a Canadian healthcare worker.
Other Actions to date
Canada is committed to supporting international efforts to fight the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. With the new announcement today, the Government of Canada has committed a total of $113.5 million to support the health, humanitarian and security interventions, and domestic preparedness measures deployed to address the spread of the disease.
- Over $20 million to the World Health Organization (WHO):
- over $15 million to strengthen the medical response in Ebola-affected countries, assist with preparedness activities in non-affected neighbouring countries and improve coordination efforts; and
- $5 millionto support international security-related Ebola response activities in West Africa. Canada’s contribution is specifically supporting essential biosafety and biosecurity measures to strengthen the field response to the outbreak and to mitigate associated threats to health and security.
- $10.5 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond to immediate food needs and prevent acute malnutrition among young children and women.
- $10 million to UNICEF to assist communities through health education to increase understanding and engagement in preventative measures, expand in-community care services for Ebola patients, as well as manage the broader humanitarian impact of the crisis by improving access to basic services, including food, water, and non-Ebola health services.
- $9.5 million to the WFP’s United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) Logistics Special Operation to meet the critical logistics and transportation needs of responders and increase the efficiency of the overall humanitarian response.
- $4 million to the UN Ebola Multi-Partner Trust Fund to meet critical gaps in the response.
- Over $3.8 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the medical response (case finding, contact tracing, dead body management), strengthen preparedness and response capacity in non-affected countries, and enhance coordination.
- $1.7 million to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) to provide isolation and protection measures to reduce and contain the spread of the Ebola virus and to provide care to the affected population.
- $23.5 million to support further research and development of Ebola medical countermeasures – namely Canada’s Ebola vaccine and monoclonal antibody treatments. This funding will be used to support clinical trials in Africa and to assist with producing monoclonal antibody treatments for Ebola to assist in the outbreak response
- $3 million to support the provinces and territories in the delivery of infection control training and equipment. These funds will be available to support the deployment of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Rapid Response Teams.
- $1 million to deploy additional trained Quarantine Officers at Canadian airports to support these enhanced border measures.
Canada’s in-kind contributions have been significant and include:
- Laboratory services provided in Sierra Leone since June 2014. Canada now has two laboratories in place, typically staffed by two technicians. Currently, one mobile team provides rapid diagnostic support to help local healthcare workers to quickly diagnose Ebola quickly. A second mobile team is ready to provide support and will deploy once it has been identified where they are needed. This mobile team worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to monitor the effectiveness of infection prevention procedures such as hand-washing stations, face masks and disposal sites to prevent the further spread of Ebola and is presently preparing to redeploy to provide additional Ebola diagnostic support.
- Supporting the deployment of four Canadian Red Cross delegates to support the Guinean and Sierra Leonean Red Cross Societies, and eight Humanitarian Emergency Experts deployed to Sierra Leone and Liberia to provide social mobilization/coordination, communication and public health expertise in support of UNICEF efforts.
- The donation of 800 doses of Canada’s experimental Ebola vaccine, VSV-EBOV, to the WHO in Geneva. All vials have been delivered. There are currently two clinical trials for the vaccine happening in the United States. One at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland and another being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Centre, also in Maryland. Results from the clinical trials are expected in December 2014. Supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève will also begin clinical trials of Canada’s Ebola vaccine in November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. Results from these clinical trials are expected in early 2015. On November 14, 2014, the Government of Canada announced the start of clinical trials led by the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) and will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Results from this clinical trial are expected in early 2015. These trials will provide critical information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and appropriate dosage.
- The donation of over $2.5 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) from the federal government to the WHO, all of which has been delivered to West Africa, and the ongoing delivery of PPE donated by Canadian provinces.