advertisement
01 August 2014

Ebola fears send hand sanitiser prices soaring

In Liberia, the price of hand sanitiser has increased sevenfold, making protection against Ebola disease a challenge for poor families.

0

The struggle to contain the worst-ever Ebola epidemic in west Africa is being complicated by the soaring cost of hand sanitiser, a leading charity said on Thursday.

Mike Noyes, ActionAid UK's Head of Humanitarian Response, said the prices of some hygiene products had gone up sevenfold, making them unaffordable for many in the region.

A huge challenge


"Hand sanitiser that they used to pay seven Liberian dollars for is now 50 dollars ($0.54, 0.40 euros), and that makes even protecting yourself a huge challenge for very poor families in quite isolated areas," he told AFP.

Demand for sanitary products has risen sharply as communities have become increasingly aware of hygiene measures that can halt the transmission of the deadly disease.

Read: Ebola travels by plane to Nigeria

But this has led to a steep rise in prices, compounding the challenges facing people in affected countries like Liberia, where the average monthly income is just $65 (49 euros), according to the World Bank.

The current outbreak is the largest in history and has killed 156 people in Liberia and 729 across the west African region.

Economically ruinous

The virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, though this outbreak has killed about 60 percent of those infected. While there is no known cure, sanitary precautions can greatly reduce the risk of transmission.

Noyes also warned that the crisis could be economically ruinous for some of the poorest communities in the region.

"When markets stop functioning because people don't want to go to them or people are advised not to go to them, trading doesn't happen," he said.

"That means people don't necessarily sell the products they need to sell, they don't buy what they need to buy."

Read more:

Signs and symptoms of Ebola
WHO urges drastic action on Ebola
Doctor leading Ebola fight dies

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

News
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Are you sure? »

Aid your digestion What are digestive disorders?

Are you really constipated?

Many people think that if they do not have two or more bowel movements every single day of their lives they are constipated. This is patently not true, writes DietDoc.

True of False? »

SEE: How anaphylactic shock affects your body

Stop believing these 10 allergy myths

Do you still believe that hay fever is caused by hay? Or that food allergies are really common? No, and no again. We bust 10 myths about allergies.