For the countries of West Africa, Ebola is an epidemic threatening thousands of lives daily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 8,000 people have been infected with the virus as of early October, and more than 3,800 have died from it – the vast majority of them located in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The CDC is predicting that by January 2015, 1.4 million people in West Africa could be infected with the Ebola virus. The World Health Organization is calling the scale of this current outbreak “unprecedented.”

Coca-Cola and its bottling partners are teaming up with the CDC and with organizations throughout West Africa to deliver much-needed supplies to those affected and support education efforts to aid in Ebola prevention. Actions, to date, include:

  • On Oct. 3, the CDC Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company hosted an emergency Ebola briefing for Atlanta business leaders. It was announced that, in addition to a range of efforts already underway to strengthen the health systems in the area, the Coca-Cola system will assist the CDC in Sierra Leone to help deliver gloves, supplies, medical equipment and related items to the areas that need it most.

    Ebola response

  • This past August, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation made a $200,000 donation to MedShare to assist in the shipment of protective clothing to healthcare workers providing treatment to Ebola patients. A total of 15 pallets of medical supplies have been airlifted into Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and eight 40-ft. shipping containers filled with longer-term supplies will arrive in West Africa by the end of October. Coca-Cola and Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC) also provided MedShare with financial support in July to deliver two shipping containers packed with medical supplies to hospitals in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

  • In West Africa, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners are delivering water and juice to impacted countries. The Sierra Leone Coca-Cola Bottling Company (SLCCBC) has delivered 220 cases of water and juice to Red Cross warehouses. The Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) has delivered 3,400 cases of BonAqua water, and will continue to make deliveries throughout the height of the crisis to Ebola health centers in partnership with the Liberian Ministry of Health.
While providing treatment and supplies is of the utmost importance in the midst of an outbreak, increasing human, product, and plant safety is critical to limiting the spread of the Ebola virus. All Coca-Cola offices and bottling plants in affected countries have taken preventative measures to control the outbreak, such as temperature testing using contactless thermometers and installing sanitizers throughout facilities.

Offering health education is a cornerstone of Ebola prevention efforts. Coca-Cola is harnessing its communications capabilities to spread the word about the disease through information leaflets. The company is also working with Water Health International to post information about preventive health steps at community water centers throughout Liberia, combating misinformation about transmission of the virus and providing information about seeking medical care.

Battling a fatal and growing epidemic requires the power that comes from combined resources—from the Golden Triangle of businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations. No one group can effectively combat it alone. A global problem like Ebola needs a global solution—and The Coca-Cola Company and its partners are coming together to take action.