US sends medical equipment to fight Ebola in Liberia

AFP
Personnel unload medical equipment sent by USAID to fight Ebola in Liberia at Roberts International Airport near Monrovia on August 24, 2014
Personnel unload medical equipment sent by USAID to fight Ebola in Liberia at Roberts International Airport near Monrovia on August 24, 2014 (AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso)

Monrovia (AFP) - Sixteen tonnes of medical equipment donated by the US government arrived on Sunday in Liberia, which has tallied the highest death toll in the West African epidemic.

Kai Olsen, from the US Agency for International Development, said the shipment included plastic sheeting to build temporary shelters and water purification kits.

It also included personal protective equipment such as "gloves, facial masks and body suits that allow workers to work with either patients or samples of materials -- to work with the Ebola virus safely."

Olsen said it was the "first load" of Ebola-focussed aid from USAID to Liberia, where 624 people have died from the infectious tropical virus.

Earlier this month USAID, the international development arm of the US government, announced $12 million (nine million euros) in aid to help fight the epidemic.

Ebola has killed at least 1,427 people in West Africa since January, according a UN count released on Saturday -- more than all other previous Ebola outbreaks combined.