Malaysia to send 20 million medical
gloves to fight Ebola
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[September 15, 2014] KUALA
LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia will send more than 20 million medical
rubber gloves to five African nations battling the deadly Ebola virus,
addressing a crucial shortage faced by overwhelmed health workers, the
country's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Monday.
The Southeast Asian nation is a leading manufacturer of rubber
gloves, producing about 60 percent of the world's supply of latex
medical gloves. Health authorities say that a shortage of rubber
gloves in affected African nations has led to more deaths and raised
risks that the virus will spread among doctors and nurses.
The outbreak has now killed upwards of 2,400 people, mostly in
Liberia, neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone as poorly resourced
West African healthcare systems have been overrun.
"Malaysia can make a unique and vital contribution to the fight
against Ebola because we are one of the biggest manufacturers of
rubber gloves," a Malaysian government spokesperson said in a
"We hope this contribution will prevent the spread of Ebola and save
Among the companies supplying the shipment are Sime Darby, Top Glove
Corp Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, and IOI Corp., the Prime Minister's
office said. Top Glove alone has a production capacity of 42 billion
gloves a year and exports to 200 countries.
Shares in the big rubber glove companies have rallied in recent
weeks as fears grow that the virus could spread.
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The Malaysian government did not say whether it or the companies
were footing the bill for the shipment.
Malaysia will send 11 containers, each holding 1.9 million gloves,
the statement said. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will each
receive three containers, while Nigeria and the Democratic Republic
of Congo will each receive one container.
(Reporting By Stuart Grudgings; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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