Along with international agencies and governments, Merck has played — and continues to play — a leadership role in responding to Ebola.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 15,000 people, primarily in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, have contracted the Ebola virus disease (EVD) since the last major outbreak, in March 2014. This outbreak was the biggest outbreak of EVD on record, with more than 11,000 reported deaths. The work of the global health and humanitarian organizations caring for those who were infected with EVD was complicated by the underdeveloped health care system and poor infrastructure prevalent in Western Africa.
Merck has provided cash donations to a number of organizations involved in Ebola relief and recovery efforts:
International Medical Corps:
Funding helped build, staff and provide training on effective Ebola isolation units and referral systems at the Phebe and C.B. Dunbar Hospitals in Bong County, Liberia.
Funding helped support the transport of medical supplies to the region. Donated Merck products were also included in these shipments.
Funds went towards conducting an assessment in Sierra Leone to determine specific strategies to stop the spread of the Ebola virus and prevent future outbreaks. Merck also sent two infectious disease experts who specialize in infection control to join a team of other specialists to advise and conduct a rapid assessment of the response and relief efforts on the ground.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Funding supported UNICEF’s efforts focusing on controlling the outbreak, reinforcing and ensuring access to essential social services and scaling up prevention and preparedness activities.
In addition, Merck Medical Outreach Program partner MAP International shipped donated Merck products in their Medical Mission Packs to partners in Liberia and Sierra Leone to help support the health systems in both countries during the outbreak. Today, scientists from Merck, along with many external collaborators, remain at the forefront of the efforts to address this infectious disease.
Published Oct. 2014; updated March 2015, Oct. 2016 and Jan. 2017