Marine ship headed to supply ebola fighters

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The Karel Doorman is being loaded with medical supplies in the port of Den Helder today. The Marine vessel will be leaving for West Africa on Thursday to take supplies for the fight against Ebola.

11 million gloves, 1, 100 rubber boots, dozens of trucks, cars and ambulances, thermometers, disinfectant, generators and mobile laboratories must be brought on board, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ship will also transport protective clothing for doctors and more than 300 thousand masks to protect rescue workers.

According to Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Development Cooperation, the rescue workers desperately need the supplies to help contain the epidemic. She and Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of Defense arranged the use of the Karel Doorman. The European Union also contributed.

The Netherlands has purchased 5 million euro's relief supplies. Supplies from eight other member states, such as Belgium, Austria and Finland, are also on board.

The Karel Doorman will sail via Great Britain and Dakar to the countries affected by Ebola - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The first relief supplies are expected to be delivered around November 20th. The Dutch Ebola-envoy, Hans Docter, is currently in the region to confirm the agreements for the deliveries with local authorities and aid organizations.

According to Ploumen the help in Liberia is gaining momentum and is well coordinated. In Guinea, it is more difficult. "The authorities have to really make an effort there to win this fight. We help where possible, including by focusing on improved coordination of aid." says Ploumen.

The Karel Doorman is the biggest ship of the Dutch Marines. In addition to the regular crew (137 people), a medical team and 55 marines will sail along.

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