New measures to tackle Ebola

Epidemic in West Africa New measures to tackle Ebola

The German government has decided to step up measures to tackle the Ebola outbreak. Federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert underscored the need for more human resources in the affected regions. Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that she would be calling for Bundeswehr medical staff to serve in Liberia.

The German government has been supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) and NGOs operating in the affected areas, including Médecins Sans Frontières, since the outbreak began.

New measures

On Friday the State Secretaries of the ministries involved agreed on additional measures to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Speaking on Monday, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert laid out the measures taken by Germany to tackle Ebola:

  • In conjunction with the French Army, the Bundeswehr plans to establish an air bridge to the countries affected by the Ebola outbreak at short notice and set up an air transport base somewhere in the wider region.
  • The German government will support the German Red Cross in establishing and operating a mobile hospital with more than 200 beds as well as two primary healthcare clinics in the region.
  • The German government intends to increase its staff of essential medical auxiliaries. It will put in place the conditions for a functioning rescue chain.
  • The Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance will make extensive medical equipment available at short notice.
  • The German government is prepared to use its development cooperation budget to support additional preventive measures as well as to provide medical supplies and food.

  • The Federal Agency for Technical Relief will be involved in providing logistical support for aid measures both in Germany and in the region.
  • The German government intends to play a greater role in the training of medical personnel in the affected countries.

Medical personnel for Liberia

In addition to the measures decided on Friday, Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that she would be launched a call within the Bundeswehr to recruit medical staff to tackle Ebola in Liberia. The Bundeswehr will be transporting a field hospital for 50 patients to the region.

No risk of Ebola spreading in Germany
Ebola is an extremely rare life-threatening infectious disease. In all probability fruit bats are the source of the virus, although this has not yet been definitively ascertained. Humans and animals can become infected if they come into contact with infected fruit bats. The disease is communicated through contact with body fluids of victims (e.g. vomit, blood or sweat). Although the World Health Organization has declared an "international public health emergency", the population of Germany is not at risk. All the recommendations issued by the WHO for countries like Germany have been implemented. Should an Ebola patient arrive in Germany all preconditions are already in place to ensure safe treatment.