On Jan. 14, 2016, the World Health Organization reported that West Africa was free of the Ebola virus, bringing an end to the outbreak that began more than two years ago.
UPDATE: One day later, on Jan. 15th, a new case was reported in Sierra Leone. Categorized as a "flare-up," it was not unexpected by the global health community.
Paul G. Allen has been a leader in the fight against Ebola, committing $100 million to the effort and developing a program that brings strategic and targeted solutions to the global response to the outbreak.
The Paul G. Allen Ebola Program’s efforts have been intentionally diverse. During the early parts of the outbreak, we swiftly mobilized, alongside international governments and humanitarian and health organizations, to identify and address the most immediate needs, including supplies and support for on-the-ground efforts to halt the outbreak’s spread and care for those affected.
As Ebola progressed, we partnered with infectious disease leaders and practitioners worldwide, and drew from myriad resources and experts to develop innovative solutions to the evolving needs. For example, when it became clear that American medical workers were hesitant to serve in the affected countries for fear they would have limited access to medical evacuation if they became ill, we partnered with the U.S. Department of State to build two portable medevac units – greatly increasing U.S. medevac capacity – and created a fund to pick up the costs of evacuation not covered by a medical worker’s insurance.
As the outbreak began to wane, Mr. Allen focused his support on efforts to ensure that an outbreak like the West Africa Ebola outbreak is never repeated for the same reasons. In October, the Program committed another $11 million in grants to fund this type of work.
The fight against Ebola has taught us that there is room for innovation in the way the world responds to outbreaks, and new ideas and partnerships are critical to addressing these gaps.
Here is a look back at the Ebola outbreak and Paul G. Allen’s response efforts:
Ebola is not somebody else's problem. It is our problem.
- Paul G. Allen
A contribution to the American Red Cross to fund equipment, volunteers and educational materials in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. August 2014
A matching grant to Global Giving, which more than 700 donors doubled in only four days. Ten groups received funding to distribute sanitation supplies, conduct training sessions and produce public service announcements. August 2014
A partnership with Airlink to execute a continuous air bridge to deliver critically needed medical protective gear and pharmaceuticals. September 2014
A partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders to support their existing Ebola emergency programs in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. September 2014
Funding to Medical Teams International (MTI) to help provide infrastructure, housing and transportation needs for MTI's staff in Liberia. September 2014
A partnership with UNICEF to provide household hygiene kits and healthcare worker training in Liberia. September 2014
A $1 million grant to Direct Relief, to support the continued delivery of medical supplies and logistical support on the ground in Ebola-affected nations. November 2014
A $1.35 million grant to AmeriCares, to provide PPE and additional supplies to under-resourced clinics to improve the county health system in Grand Bassa County in Liberia. November 2014
A $1.9 million grant to Action Against Hunger, to provide food for isolated patients, construct water kiosks and hand washing stations, improve Ebola prevention, and train community volunteers. November 2014
Two $100,000 grants to the American Red Cross and WFP in Guinea to help ensure Ebola does not spread to neighboring Guinea-Bissau. May 2015
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
A grant to the CDC Foundation to establish emergency operations centers in the most affected countries, by developing a systematic response to detect and stop outbreaks from spreading. September 2014
Paul G. Allen announced a program to ship more than 10,000 specially programmed smartphones to West Africa to enhance data collection and identify aid needs. Phones were donated by companies like AT&T, Amazon, LG, Samsung, and Verizon, as well as purchases funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and administered by partner organization, NetHope.
Additionally, Mr. Allen provided $1.8 million to NetHope to further connectivity throughout Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. November 2014
A $490,590 grant to eHealth Africa to train and deploy emergency dispatchers and coordinators in five Emergency Operation Centers in Conakry, Guinea. May 2015
The Ebola Medevac Fund, started with a $2.5 million grant, is designed to address the gap between what insurance will cover and the actual transport costs. October 2014
Mr. Allen also gave a $727,628 grant to the World Health Organization to establish a global Medevac coordination unit for health workers. January 2015
A partnership with the U.S. State Department will provide two Medevac biocontainment units. October 2014
A $1.5 million grant to BBC Media Action to support education and communications programs in the affected countries aimed at increasing public knowledge and awareness, supporting the government in responding to the crisis and instilling safer health practices among local audiences. October 2014
A $2.2 million partnership with PCI Media Impact to develop educational campaigns, talk radio shows and radio drama series. November 2014
A $270,988 grant to modify a first aid app with the American Red Cross used for announcements and education in West Africa. November 2014
A partnership with University of Massachusetts Medical School to help provide training, medical workers, and lab equipment for relief efforts in Liberia. October 2014
Paul G. Allen committed $6.6 million to support Save the Children’s efforts to provide health care, community awareness, comfort and education to Liberia’s children. November 2014
A $2.9 million grant to Partners in Health to help strengthen Sierra Leone’s health system through facility improvements, patient care, social mobilization and building staff capacity. May 2015
A $250,000 grant to the Institute of Medicine to support a multi-stakeholder initiative to create an operational global health risk management framework. May 2015
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation teamed to provide a grant of $2.1 million for Cepheid and Corgenix to develop a rapid Ebola diagnostic test. November 2014
Donated two mobile blood donation units to Clinical RM for the clinical trial supporting efforts in Guinea and other Ebola-affected countries to scale up the production and evaluation of convalescent plasma and other convalescent blood products as potential therapies for people infected with the Ebola virus. November 2014