Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said today he and his wife were donating us$25 million to help US efforts to contain the deadly Ebola epidemic.
“The Ebola epidemic is at a critical turning point. It has infected 8,400 people so far, but it is spreading very quickly and projections suggest it could infect one million people or more over the next several months if not addressed,” Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page.
“We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio.”
He said he and his wife Priscilla were donating the funds to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation.
“We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this outcome,” Zuckerberg said.
“Grants like this directly help the frontline responders in their heroic work. These people are on the ground setting up care centres, training local staff, identifying Ebola cases and much more.”
The Ebola virus has already killed more than 4,000 people, most in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Underfunded health systems in West Africa have been crippled by the disease, which has spiralled out of control and infected 7,400 people since the beginning of the year.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation last month pledged $50 million to help boost the fight against the Ebola outbreak, providing the funds to UN agencies and international organizations involved in the outbreak.