(CNN) — West Africa is facing the worst Ebola outbreak on record, according to the World Health Organization. More than 3,000 people have died from the virus since March and the numbers continue to grow.
Obama announced that the U.S. will step up its response in an effort to help control the outbreak by sending military personnel, material to build field hospitals, additional health care workers, community care kits and much needed medical supplies.
But there are several aid organizations on the ground and in desperate need of assistance with this growing epidemic. They are mainly providing health care services, educational programs and delivering medical supplies. Here are a few groups that are fighting against this deadly disease and information on how you can help.
AmeriCares has been sending shipments to the region since the outbreak began. They are providing critical antibiotics, medical supplies and safety equipment for health workers including gloves and protective masks.
There are more than 500 Samaritan’s Purse staff in Liberia working to decrease the spread of the Ebola virus. The organization is providing administrative and logistical support and continues with Ebola public awareness and education.
Since March, UNICEF and its partners have reached at least 5.5 million people in West Africa. They sent about 550 tons of supplies in the last few weeks, including protective equipment, hygiene items and essential medicines.
Thousands of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers have been trained and deployed to support the response. They help dispose of dead bodies, trace the path of the disease and provide emotional support to the communities affected by the disease. They plan on training more than 5,600 volunteers to ensure larger geographical areas can be reached.
The main focus of Nothing But Nets is fighting Malaria, the leading cause of death among children in Africa. But since the Ebola outbreak, the threat of Malaria is on the rise. They are sending health workers to communities to provide critical malaria prevention, as well as diagnostic and treatment services.
Doctors without Borders West Africa Ebola response started in March and now has activities in five countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. They currently employ 239 international and 2,000 locally hired staff in the region. The organization operates six Ebola management centers providing more than 500 hospital beds in isolation. Since the beginning of the outbreak, they have treated over 1,700 Ebola patients, and 520 have survived. More than 435 tons of supplies have been shipped to the affected countries.
International Medical Corps provides logistical support to the Ministry of Health for health education activities. Local teams also provide support with isolation of Ebola patients to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus, and assist with surveillance.
Save the Children works in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to help prevent the spread of the virus, by training health workers, teaching tens of thousands of people in communities about how to limit the risks to themselves and their families, distributing protective kits, and providing much needed medical equipment.
World Vision staff in Sierra Leone are organizing major public awareness and prevention campaigns to protect children from the disease through radio, public events and interfaith workshops. World Vision also is delivering massive numbers of medical relief supplies, including 4 million pairs of gloves, to Sierra Leone, to support health workers.
Catholic Relief Services has been responding to the outbreak since earlier this year, and has staff in all the affected countries. They are providing medical supplies and training to healthcare workers and volunteers. They are also working with local leaders to raise awareness about Ebola.
The UN Foundation Ebola Response Fund provides technical assistance to governments of Ebola-affected countries through field personnel and infection prevention and control experts. They also help deliver much needed supplies such as personal protective equipment and chlorine.
International Rescue Committee staff and community health workers in Liberia and Sierra Leone are working to educate people on how to stop the spread of the virus. They are also bolstering local health systems with medical staff, protective gear and logistical support.