Funding Needed to Support UCSF Researcher Helping Ebola Victims in West Africa

By Laura Kurtzman

Dan Kelly, MD, examines patient Sahr Menor at the Wellbody Alliance, the largest primary care clinic in eastern Sierra Leone. Kelly is raising $100,000 for his nonprofit to help health care workers who are taking care of those impacted by the Ebola virus in Africa. Photo by Sarah Bones 

With the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, there is an urgent need to train local health workers in how to protect themselves from infection and provide them with the equipment they need to stay safe. More than 80 local health workers in the region have already died from Ebola, because the places where they work lack adequate infection control. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders has yet to suffer a single casualty.

You can help by donating to a crowdfunding effort set up by Dan Kelly, MD, an infectious disease specialist and global health researcher at UC San Francisco. Kelly has been working in Sierra Leone for eight years with a nonprofit group he co-founded, called Wellbody Alliance. It operates the largest primary care clinic in Eastern Sierra Leone and trains community health workers to work in villages. Kelly is trying to raise $100,000 for his nonprofit, to train his staff, equip them with spacesuits and other infection prevention tools and hire people to ensure that everyone is following proper procedures.

On Friday, the World Health Organization said the Ebola epidemic is much worse than previously thought. Already more than 1,000 people have died, and the figure continues to rise as health workers travel to remote villages and open new treatment centers. Kelly will spend the next two weeks in Sierra Leone, trying to improve conditions on the ground.

Please follow Dan on Twitter (@dankelly_MD) as he tweets about his experience in Sierra Leone.

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