October 18, 2014

​Ebola Outbreak: How you can Help

©2014 USA Today

There have been 8,033 confirmed or suspected
cases of Ebola and more than 4,000 deaths attributed to the current outbreak in
West Africa, the World Health Organization reports.

The first man to be diagnosed with Ebola in the
USA died on October 7.

Aid workers are providing everything from medical
care to protective gear to education as the Ebola virus continues to spread.

How can you help?The following is a list of organizations responding to the Ebola
outbreak on the ground. All of the charities listed have received three- and
four-star ratings from Charity Navigator:

UNICEFIn addition to providing supplies, UNICEF has launched a campaign to
tell people about how Ebola is transmitted and how it can be prevented.

About 400 UNICEF staffers are working on the
ground in West Africa. Communication is largely done door-to-door.

UNICEF estimates it needs $200 million in funding
for its immediate Ebola response efforts. So far, the organization has raised
more than $40 million, said Caryl Stern, president of the U.S. Fund

Operation Blessing InternationalOne of the top needs in the Ebola response? Chlorine.

The non-profit sent five chlorine generators to
Liberia for hand washing and to disinfect surfaces, producing about 440 gallons
of chlorine a day, said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing.

“Soap and water is better than nothing, but
chlorine and water is what will kill the virus and stop the spread of Ebola,”
Horan said.

Operation Blessing staff and volunteers are
distributing chlorine to the Liberian government and directly to residents, he

The non-profit is shipping another generator
later this month, this one with the capability of producing 640 gallons of
chlorine a day, Horan said.

International Medical CorpsIMC operates a 70-bed Ebola treatment facility in Liberia and is
opening a 50-bed facility in Sierra Leone by month’s end, said Margaret
Aguirre, head of global initiatives for the organization.

These facilities are expensive to run. The
Liberia center costs $1 million per month and requires 200 staffers when the
facility is at full capacity, Aguirre said.

The organization currently has about 300 staffers
in West Africa and is sending hundreds more to help in response efforts,
Aguirre said.

Save the ChildrenSave the Children has health ministries in Liberia, Sierra Leone and
Guinea. The non-profit has trained health workers and community members about
how to limit their risks, according to its website.

Doctors Without BordersThe organization has sent more than 3,000 staff working in the region,
according to an e-mail from Tim Shenk, spokesman for the organization.

Doctors Without Borders runs six Ebola management
centers with more than 600 hospital beds in isolation, according to Shenk’s

(Jolie Lee writes for USA Today. Follow her on
Twitter at @JolieLeeDC.)