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SEATTLE, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Philanthropist Paul G. Allen today increased his commitment to Tackle Ebola to at least $100 million and called on the global community to join the cause. This crisis requires a multi-pronged approach to solving it. As such, Mr. Allen is leading the following initiatives:
Effectively addressing the Ebola crisis requires the continued commitment of medical professionals. One of the key challenges in their recruitment is the lack of a clear medevac pathway should they become infected and require treatment.
Mr. Allen has committed to solving this challenge by funding the development and manufacture of two medevac containment units, which the U.S. State Department will use to safely evacuate medical professionals from West Africa. In addition, Mr. Allen has partnered with the World Health Organization to increase its capacity to coordinate the logistics required to transport international aid workers.
Cost of medevac transport can also be a barrier for organizations to commit to sending their critical care professionals. To address this, Mr. Allen has established the Ebola Medevac Fund, designed to address the gap between what insurance will cover and the actual transport costs. The $2.5 million fund is designed as a dollar to dollar matching grant with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
Another important component to tackling this crisis is ensuring education, supplies and medical professionals are on the ground. Mr. Allen is donating to UMMS to help provide training, medical workers and lab equipment for relief efforts in Liberia. The partnership with UMMS will focus on providing decontamination and lab equipment to district hospitals as well as community outreach and education to provide monitoring and support to staff in order to reopen closed district hospitals.
Mr. Allen also has created a way for individuals to contribute to specific organizations and fund critical response needs through TackleEbola.com. The donation platform is designed to coordinate and optimize individual global giving.
Donations of all sizes will go to funding the solutions required to treat, contain and prevent the spread of Ebola. Donors will be able to select the need that they are most interested in funding and 100 percent of that contribution will be applied to that need. The site also offers a way for donors to view the impact of their combined contributions with updates on progress towards goals.
"The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen," Mr. Allen said. "To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem. I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis."
"We thank Paul Allen and his foundation for their contribution on this crucial issue," said Andrew O'Brien, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State. "We hope that this sets a much needed example for what will be robust and rapid private sector leadership, working in partnership with the U.S. government. Mr. Allen's #TackleEbola campaign is providing an important catalyst to help us get medical responders to West Africa to fight Ebola at its epicenter. His leadership is timely and greatly augments the work that the U.S. government, international organizations, NGOs, and others are doing on the ground every day."
"We at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are grateful for the support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which will allow us to specifically work with our strategic partners and our Liberian colleagues to help stem the Ebola epidemic and strengthen Liberia's fragile health care system," said Michael F. Collins, MD, Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Our academic collaborative has worked productively in the past with the Liberian leadership and health care workforce, and we look forward to continuing that partnership by engaging directly with our Liberian collaborators and providing on-the-ground relief, training and supplies".
From the early days of the outbreak, Mr. Allen and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have focused on finding, funding and coordinating strategic solutions that could be deployed quickly and would address some of the most critical needs. To date, Mr. Allen has already helped implement the following solutions:
The Ebola Medevac Fund will be administered by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. For more information, visit www.tackleebola.com and follow @TackleEbola and @PaulGAllen on Twitter or Facebook.
Alexa Rudin, Vulcan Inc.
Dana Lengkeek, Burson-Marsteller