Limerick man seeks funding for ebola campaign

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Plan Ireland CEO David Dalton from Raheen on a previous visit to Guinea
Plan Ireland CEO David Dalton from Raheen on a previous visit to Guinea
Plan Ireland CEO David Dalton from Raheen on a previous visit to Guinea

A LIMERICK man heading up an Irish charity fighting the ebola epidemic in West Africa is calling on the Government and the Irish people to provide urgent funding to help curb the spread of the disease.

Raheen native David Dalton, chief executive of Plan Ireland, says that the number of people infected with ebola will double every two weeks if more support is not provided.

“The numbers will double every two weeks if we don’t actually stymie the virus, that’s the bottom line. It is increasing exponentially and at a huge rate,” commented Mr Dalton.

Plan Ireland currently has several Irish staff and more than 700 local staff working in the three worst hit countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

As well as providing medical treatment and supplies, the charity is involved in tracing the contacts of those infected to try to limit the spread of the virus.

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Mr Dalton recently met with Minister of State Sean Sherlock, who is responsible for overseas aid, to request urgent financial assistance.

“We need more treatment centres, we need more experienced staff , we need more equipment and supplies.

“The countries battling Ebola are among the poorest in the world and the public health systems across West Africa are fragile. The impacted countries desperately need financial and technical assistance to avoid a catastrophic situation.”

Mr Dalton is also requesting the Irish public to help fund Plan Ireland’s ebola response.

“For as little as €25, you can buy hygiene kits for 25 families so they can wash and disinfect and help stop the virus from spreading. It might not seem like a lot, but your money goes a long way over there.

“Also, unlike some other charities, 100 per cent of the money donated to Plan Ireland will go directly to the ebola response,” concluded Mr Dalton.