SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Sorenson Legacy Foundation today announced that in order to help combat the Ebola epidemic, it granted a total of $1.5 million to three separate international health organizations: Doctors Without Borders, International Medical Corps and Samaritan’s Purse.
Since the deadly outbreak first began, these three health organizations have been on the front lines in West Africa leading various efforts in fighting the disease. The Sorenson Legacy Foundation became aware of these efforts, and recognized an opportunity to lend its support to the cause by providing needed financial resources.
“Last year we were moved as we learned of the tragic suffering Ebola was causing and we wanted to help. As a medical professional, I understand how crucial having the right resources is to providing medical care,” said foundation board member Dale Harris. “When we saw the opportunity to make this happen in the fight against Ebola, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation was thrilled to get involved. We really believe that we have a responsibility to make our communities better, and these gifts were a great way for us to contribute to our global community. We are fortunate to have groups such as these who willingly serve those in need.”
Doctors Without Borders used the funds from Sorenson Legacy Foundation to aid in its ongoing Ebola response efforts, which began in March 2014. Since that time, Doctors Without Borders (MSF-USA) has had about 3,900 staff working in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali, and has shipped more than 1,400 tons of supplies to the affected countries. The organization has also hired over 3,600 local staff in the region to help carry out the largest Ebola response ever. Learn more about Doctors Without Borders’ efforts here: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/our-work/medical-issues/ebola.
“The scale of this epidemic is unprecedented, and the outbreak is unpredictable and constantly evolving,” said Sophie Delaunay, executive director of MSF-USA. “Over the past weeks, we have seen a lull in cases in one area only to see the numbers spike again later in another location. We must remain vigilant and allocate resources according to the most pressing needs. We are grateful for the generous gift from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation in support of our response in West Africa; their grant is helping us maintain a flexible response across the region.”
International Medical Corps has also been on the frontlines in the fight against Ebola throughout West Africa. International Medical Corps is operating four Ebola treatment centers, providing access to urgently needed care for some 1.5 million people, and has also set up two major training centers to train approximately 3,500 health workers in the treatment and case management of Ebola. A more detailed account of these initiatives can be read here: https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/ebola-response.
“As critical as it is to treat those already affected by Ebola, training local health workers on infection control measures is the best way to stop the outbreak at the source and prevent future ones,” said Rabih Torbay, senior vice president of International Operations for International Medical Corps. “We are incredibly grateful for this lifesaving gift and are committed to continuing our emergency response and preparedness efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali as we strive to put an end to this deadly disease.”
Also receiving funding to assist in its fight against Ebola was Samaritan’s Purse, whose efforts included offering clinical treatment throughout Liberia. Additionally, Samaritan’s Purse launched a national awareness campaign to dispel misconceptions about Ebola and stem the spread of the virus. The organization is distributing Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) kits that include chlorine-based disinfectant, rubber gloves, soap, and other essentials, and has built two large community care centers located near major outbreaks of the disease. More information on these ongoing efforts can be found here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/disaster/ebola-crisis.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Sorenson Legacy Foundation for their support in helping us continue our efforts on the ground in West Africa,” said Ken Issacs, vice president of programs and government relations. “We have had an office in Liberia for more than a decade, and have been aggressively responding to the Ebola outbreak to help protect the people and communities we have come to love over the years. We will continue to do everything we can to put an end to this deadly disease and bring relief to the long-suffering area.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current Ebola epidemic is the largest in the history of the disease, resulting in more cases and deaths than in all other Ebola outbreaks combined, mostly in West Africa.
“It’s easy to think of Ebola as something that is only an issue in a handful of African countries, but really it is a global issue,” said Ann Crocker, president of Sorenson Legacy Foundation. “We are extremely honored to play a small part in helping these stellar health organizations in their efforts to combat and eradicate this horrible disease.”
About the Sorenson Legacy Foundation
Based in Salt Lake City, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation is a non-profit corporation established by the James LeVoy Sorenson family for the exclusive purpose of promoting charitable, religious, educational, literary and scientific endeavors.