U.S. Buys Up Ebola Gear, Leaving Little for Africa – WSJ

[F]rontline healthcare workers in West Africa are said to be ‘sweating bullet’s right now as they see PPE supplies dwindling with no replacements in the pipeline. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is all that stands between a HCW and possible death, so it’s understandable that these suits are vital to the war on Ebola. DuPont and other manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the demand, but orders from West Africa or missions groups working there may not be filled right away due to the high numbers of orders already received:

One of the demand spikes isn’t coming from West Africa—but from America. U.S. hospitals and government agencies have strained PPE supplies in some regions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. This month, the CDC itself said it ordered $2.7 million in PPEs, a collection it calls a Strategic National Stockpile. CDC guidelines state American hospitals and firefighters need PPEs on hand, in case a potential Ebola suspect wanders into an emergency room or dials 911.

A report earlier this year revealed that the CDC’s and DHS supplies of emergency items such as PPEs were so old that they had reached or would soon reach their expiration dates, so it’s understandable, I suppose, that these government agencies would place huge orders for replacements, but couldn’t we send some of those supplies to West Africa instead of soldiers? Just a thought.

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