I've had several people ask me how they can help to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. I have no particular knowledge about the answer to this question, but I felt it was worth looking into. Here is a roundup of things I have found. Feel free to add any additional information or suggestion in the comments section.
Donate: this outbreak
Medecins Sans Frontiers (aka Doctors Without Borders) is an NGO that, as far as I can tell, one of the primary organizations involved in fighting this outbreak (and innumerable others). They also have an excellent score (92.34 of 100 overall, 89/100 for financial, 100/100 for transparency) on Charity Navigator. Donate using this site.
MAP International "is responding by providing infectious disease protection suits and supplies." They sent 5,600 protective suits as recently as Aug 6. MAP is a Christian-affiliated organization. They also have a great score on Charity Navigator. They have donation links all over their website.
Samaritan's Purse is an evangelical Christian organization that does medical missions (among other things) in the affected area. Instead of donating money, you can choose from a 'gift catalog' for things like emergency food. Their Charity Navigator score is also >95/100.
According to their website, Medical Teams International is mobilizing community health workers, providing infection control training, and supporting health workers. They appear to be operating primarily in Liberia. Their Charity Navigator score is lower than the others, but still decent at 85.
UNICEF is helping by donating supplies and organizing behavior interventions. Their Charity Navigator score is 94, and they are actively seeking donations to help fight the outbreak.
Donate: Other Emerging Infectious DIsease Efforts
ProMED-mail is a mailing list that reports infectious disease outbreaks to 60,000 subscribers daily. They are often the first ones to break news of an outbreak to the global public health community. I donate to ProMED fairly regularly. They are not listed on Charity Navigator. Donate using this link.
EcoHealth Alliance does a lot of great research at the human/animal interface, which is where a majority of emerging infectious diseases originate. A list of the research programs they run is available here, and their donation link is here. Their Charity Navigator score is 90.
Helping without donating
OpenStreetMap has an open-source response going. I'm not familiar with their response, so I can't really provide more details on this one.
Contact your local government and encourage them to devote resources to the outbreak. I poked around and wasn't able to find any specific legislation being considered.
I'm sure that can't be it, but I haven't found too many other crowdsourced Ebola projects. This surprises me, because past disasters (e.g. Hurricane Sandy), a lot of projects popped up. If you have any ideas or know of any projects, please email me or leave a comment.
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