16 Aug Air Serv Deploys for Ebola Response
Entebbe, Uganda. This week, Air Serv deployed an aircraft on its first mission responding to the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the World Health Organization, 41 people had died from the outbreak as of August 13. There have been 57 cases of hemorrhagic fever reported, with 30 confirmed and 27 probable.
Officials are extremely concerned due to the location of the outbreak in the northern Kivu Province. In addition to being much more densely populated than the site of the previous outbreak in the western part of the country earlier this year, the Kivu Province is also experiencing intense insecurity. Northern Kivu contains approximately 8 million people, with over 1 million of them displaced due to a worsening humanitarian crisis. As a result, a number of at-risk areas are difficult to access, reducing the likelihood of residents receiving adequate healthcare. On August 14, an Air Serv Cessna Caravan departed Entebbe for Bunia, DRC, just north of the affected area. The plane carried staff from Médecins Sans Frontières, who have been instrumental in providing healthcare and containing previous epidemics, as well as critically needed cargo. More flights are anticipated.
Air Serv has a long history of emergency response, and remains committed to bringing aid to where it is most needed when no one else can. “This is why Air Serv exists,” says CEO Stu Willcuts. “We will remain on standby, ready to respond when called.”
Air Serv is requesting donations and pledges toward emergency response programs to reduce the cost to humanitarian partners for critically needed transport services. Donor-supplemented programs will permit partner humanitarian organizations to focus the bulk of their budgets where they are most valuable, providing healthcare, shelter, food, and sanitation. Donations can be made through the Air Serv website at www.airserv.org.