NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The GE Foundation, global health non-profit Jhpiego and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) are hosting an event focused on the use of design to help fight Ebola, this Friday at the IRC "pop up" lounge at New York Fashion Week.
A supporter of the IRC's work, the GE Foundation is spotlighting Ebola relief efforts from 5-7pm on Friday, when GE Foundation's partner, Jhpiego, a global health non-profit and affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, will showcase an advanced protective suit for healthcare workers who treat Ebola patients.
"Ebola is a health concern with profound social, economic and humanitarian impact," says David Barash, M.D. Executive Director, Global Health Portfolio and Chief Medical Officer, GE Foundation. "We are honored to support partners like Jhpiego who are developing innovative solutions geared toward driving the capacity of healthcare systems in Africa, by keeping healthcare workers protected, and sustaining them in the field."
GE Foundation's continuing Ebola response also includes funding a coalition with additional partners to train, equip and support over 500 health professionals, across 47 primary health centers in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The event will showcase how the unique merging of functional design, bioengineering, and knowledge of the spread and control of infectious disease led to the creation of a fully integrated, protective suit that addresses many of the issues with existing personal protective equipment (PPE).
"If ever there was a public health crisis that merits the finest science, medicine and innovation the world has to offer, it is Ebola. Jhpiego is proud to showcase the new Ebola protection suit with our partner, the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, and support from the GE Foundation," said Leslie Mancuso, President and CEO of Jhpiego. "We have also worked closely with the governments of Guinea and Liberia to provide training for health workers, and led workshops for health specialists and trainers from multiple countries who will bring these lifesaving skills to their colleagues at home."
"As an organization involved with providing care to victims of Ebola, the IRC knows firsthand the importance of protecting our healthcare teams," said David Miliband, IRC President and CEO. "We welcome innovations that could make those teams more efficient while keeping them as safe as possible."
Jill Andrews of Jill Andrews Gowns, advised on the suit design and will also participate in the event. Among the enhancements to the innovative design are: a large clear visor in the hood, which is integrated into the suit; a rear zipper to reduce infection risks while removing the garment; a cocoon-style removal or doffing process that requires far fewer steps than existing garments; and a small battery-powered, dry air source to cool the user by blowing air into the hood. These improvements make wearing the suit more tolerable for healthcare workers, and enable patients and care providers to see each other more clearly through the larger, face mask.
The GE Foundation, Jhpiego and IRC have trained thousands of healthcare workers, partnered with hundreds of clinics, supported thousands of out of school children, established Ebola testing, treatment and isolation units and have forwarded life-saving infection prevention and control training.
Links to images and video here.
ABOUT GE FOUNDATION
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to building a world that works better. We empower people by helping them build the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. We equip communities with the technology and capacity to improve access to better health and education. We elevate ideas that are tackling the world's toughest challenges to advance economic development and improve lives. The GE Foundation is powered by the generosity and talent of our employees, who have a strong commitment to their communities. We are at work making the world work better. Follow the GE Foundation at www.gefoundation.com and on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.
Jhpiego (pronounced "ja-pie-go") is an international, non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University that is working to prevent the needless deaths of women and their families. For more 40 years and in over 155 countries, Jhpiego has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services. By putting evidence-based health innovations into everyday practice, Jhpiego works to break down barriers to high-quality health care for the world's most vulnerable populations. For more information on Jhpiego, go to www.jhpiego.org. Follow Jhpiego on Twitter @jhpiego and on Facebook.
ABOUT THE IRC
The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. IRC teams provide health care, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people in 40 countries, with special programs designed for women and children. Every year, the IRC resettles thousands of refugees in 22 U.S. cities. Learn more at Rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.
SOURCE International Rescue Committee