Volunteers at a Northern Virginia warehouse are responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that the World Health Organization has declared a world health emergency.
At the Brother's Brother Foundation warehouse in Merrifield, boxes of much-needed medical supplies are being prepared for shipping to Liberia and Sierra Leone, two of the four countries in West Africa at the center of the Ebola outbreak.
"In the last three years we've sent over 20 containers to Liberia and Sierra Leone," says Dr. Barry Byer, a trustee of the foundation.
The supplies include gloves, face masks, protective gear, and gowns, which are desperately needed at more than 70 hospitals and clinics battling the virus that has claimed more than 900 lives.
"We get very valuable supplies from the operating room, things that can't be reused," Byer says.
The foundation receives donations from area hospitals and medical supply companies that would otherwise likely end up in a landfill.
"We've stepped up our attention to that area in trying to provide even more of much needed supplies," Byer says.
Three 40-foot containers are on their way to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Another left Minneapolis Saturday and an additional shipment will head out next week with more scheduled in September, all in hopes of trying to prevent the spread of the deadly disease in what has become the worst Ebola outbreak in history.