The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (known simply as the Gates Foundation) has pledged $50 million (around R500 million) to help medical efforts fighting the ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The philanthropic couple’s charitable organisation said the money will be given to the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, among others.

“The foundation will also work with public and private sector partners to accelerate the development of therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics that could be effective in treating patients and preventing further transmission of the disease,” it said in a statement.

“We are working urgently with our partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives now and stop transmission of this deadly disease,” said SueDesmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation.  “We also want to accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics that can help end this epidemic and prevent future outbreaks.”

[Source – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Image – Flickr CC 2.0 – Jules Antonio]