Liberia: Responding to Ebola
The Ebola outbreak was a significant disruption to our mining business during 2014. We helped to mobilise an effective response to the disease, contributed medical, financial and other resources to the wider community, and worked with other private sector organisations in the country to press for a coordinated international response including international aid agencies.
Our first priority throughout was the continued safety of our people. As soon as the outbreak first became apparent, we worked very hard to understand the virus and make sure that our facilities were ready to deal with it. This included providing thermoflash scanners to test for fever in all employees and visitors to our Liberian locations, and distributing full sets of personal protective equipment to our own hospitals and other hospitals and clinics in Nimba, Buchanan and Monrovia. We also constructed isolation units in Buchanan and Yekepa. We supported this with an extensive communications campaign to ensure our employees knew what action to take to minimise the risk of contamination. Ebola awareness sessions were held in early 2014 by a leading infection-prevention and control expert, which helped our hospital staff, employees and communities better understand the disease and establish procedures to prevent it spreading. We currently have our own infectious disease expert nurse, who is working closely with our hospital teams. One of our employees tragically contracted Ebola in July and later died. But crucially, as a result of the rigorous efforts of our Liberian colleagues, none of our employees on our concession has been infected to date.
Our work to found the Ebola Private Sector Mobilisation Group is described in outcome 8.