MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two of Minnesota’s biggest companies are heeding that call for help in West Africa.
Ecolab and 3M are both sending medical supplies to help hospital workers fighting Ebola.
Ecolab – a company that specializes in developing products that kill germs and stop the spread of infectious diseases – says it’s sending a huge shipment to West Africa, because it seemed like the right thing to do.
Kris Taylor, the head of community relations at Ecolab, said the company is sending about $1.8 million in products to West Africa.
“That dollar amount equates to 4 to 5 semi loads that will be shipped out of the U.S. and U.K.,” she said.
The donation of soaps, hand sanitizers, disinfecting cleansers and bleach will go to hospitals in Sierra Leone and Liberia — places where running water is scarce, leaving medical workers treating Ebola patients at-risk.
“Some of the challenges they have right now are a lot the clinics have closed and a lot of people have pulled out, because it is so dangerous,” Taylor said. “Our products will be delivered in country, and redistributed on the ground to people, who are living there and trying to deal with this.”
Ecolab has a team in place to receive its donation next week, and distribute the products through Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide a solution like this in a country that really needs it, at a time when they really need it,” Taylor said.
Last month, 3M sent thousands of respirator facemasks to West Africa. The protective gear is critical in stopping the spread of Ebola.
A 3M spokesperson said the company plans to send more supplies, but they have not worked out the details yet.
The latest numbers from the World Health Organization show that about 1,350 people have died in this Ebola outbreak. And new cases are still being reported.