The Ebola epidemic has made headlines several times over the years but the 2014 outbreak in Guinea was alarming. Thousands of people were affected, and medical supplies were short. However, the relief work was already in action and it saved many lives through innovative solutions.

The challenge

The outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa started in Guinea, with the first cases being reported in March 2014, and rapidly increased in scale and scope with cases being identified in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Since the virus was first discovered in 1976 this was the largest outbreak of Ebola with the highest number of infections and deaths.

The solution

Maersk allocated significant resources to provide logistical support for the Ebola response operations. Maersk kept trade channels open for operations in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Since the start of the response operation, Maersk has provided free ocean transportation of 329 shipping containers with a total available capacity of more than 8,750 tons to the Ebola affected countries. The shipped relief cargo included food aid, medical supplies and heavy-duty vehicles for humanitarian organizations operating on the ground. Maersk also provided access to local logistics capacity and infrastructure information and, in addition, allocated four refrigerated and 21 dry containers which were being used for the storage of medical and humanitarian supplies.

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