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Top medical companies send supplies to West Africa

by Lauren Dubinsky , Staff Writer
In response to the Ebola crisis, more than 22 of the top medical companies are sending personal protective equipment and medical resources to doctors and nurses in West Africa. They rounded up a total of 2.3 million gloves, 65,000 masks, 92,000 gowns and 185,000 tabs of antibiotics.

Among the companies that provided the supplies are 3M, Actavis Pharma, Inc., Ansell Healthcare, Basic Medical, Baxter International, Inc., BD, Cera Products, Inc., Covidien, Henry Schein, Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corporation, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Merck & Co., Inc., Mylan Laboratories, Inc., Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Omron Healthcare, Inc., Pfizer, Prestige Brands, Pro2 Solutions, Inc., Sappo Hill and Teva.

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Over 70 percent of the Ebola cases are in Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to a release. Direct Relief, a medical supplier for nonprofit hospitals and clinics, with funding from Abbott Fund, AbbVie Foundation, Baxter, BD, Covidien, Sappo Hill and Pfizer, has already shipped over 445,000 gloves, 20,000 gowns, 23,500 masks, 185,000 tabs of antibiotics and 2,000 bars of soap to local clinics in those countries.

"The unprecedented scale of the outbreak has over-stretched local and even international public health institutions, so the mobilization of private resources, including from companies who make essential products or just want to help, can play a defining role in the collective effort to stem the outbreak," Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief, said in a statement. "We are deeply thankful so many are stepping up to help in so many ways."

Direct Relief and local health facilities including Wellbody Alliance and Last Mile Health are teaming up with the World Health Organization Emergency Operations Center, Liberian National Taskforce on Ebola, Centers for Disease Control and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"The Ebola epidemic is deadly — but we can stop it," Dr. Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health, said in a statement. "We must identify the sick rapidly. Treat them. Educate the public to prevent the disease from being spread to others."

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