Malaysia sends gloves to fight Ebola

A medical worker in Kailahun, Sierra Leone washes their gloves in chlorine on 15 August 2014.  Medical gloves play an important role in preventing the spread of Ebola

Malaysia plans to donate more than 20 million protective rubber gloves to five African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak, the government says.

They will be distributed among medical workers in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

A shortage has raised concern of the virus spreading, health officials say.

The South East Asian nation is a leading rubber glove manufacturer, producing 60% of the world’s supply.

“Malaysia can make a unique and vital contribution to the fight against Ebola because we are one of the biggest manufacturers of rubber gloves,” the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement.

“We hope this contribution will prevent the spread of Ebola and save lives,” he added.

Gloves and rubber boots forming part of the Ebola prevention gear for health workers drying in the sun in Monrovia, Liberia, on 8 September 2014. More than half the deaths from the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak have been in Liberia

Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are the countries worst affected by the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 2,400 people this year.

Among the companies supplying the shipment are Sime Darby, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, IOI Corporation Berhad and Top Glove, the prime minister’s office said.

Malaysia will send 11 containers overall, each holding 1.9 million gloves, the statement from Kuala Lumpur said.

The Malaysian government did not say who would pay for the shipment.