As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to spread, we are reminded of our critical responsibility as the world’s largest health care company to help improve the lives of people around the globe whether it is working to prevent diseases in vulnerable populations or contributing to humanitarian relief efforts.
During this crucial time as the Ebola virus threatens to infect thousands more, we are working diligently to broadly collaborate with global health organizations and government agencies in the region to help minimize the impact of this crisis. Specifically, we are contributing to relief efforts to provide immediate aid to those people and health workers at the center of this tragedy, and are accelerating our efforts to advance our own Ebola vaccine research program.
With support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), we plan to work with Bavarian Nordic on a combination vaccine to target the Zaire strain of the Ebola filovirus responsible for the current outbreak. If we are successful, we expect this preventive vaccine to play an invaluable role in helping to protect people from contracting the Ebola virus and ultimately save lives.
The more immediate measures we have underway to support relief efforts include financial support of the non-profit organization Direct Relief International to facilitate the air transport of a variety of infection prevention products en route to Monrovia. Further donation opportunities are currently being explored with the non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization AmeriCares and other partners currently on the ground, based on the needs list established by the local Ministries of Health in the countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.
Johnson & Johnson continues to participate in the ongoing efforts by public health authorities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the WHO, to help mount a coordinated global response to address the immediate needs raised by the Ebola outbreaks. With the WHO global conference on potential Ebola treatments set to take place this week, we look toward helping to tackle this situation in both the long and short term to ensure we help those most in need.
To learn more about our company’s response to the Ebola crisis, read our news release.
Alex Gorsky is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Johnson & Johnson. Under his leadership, J&J has been noted for its patient-centered innovation, its diverse pipeline of talented leaders, and recognized for its corporate citizenship by Fortune, Diversity Inc., and Working Mothers. After graduation from the United States Military Academy, Alex served six years in the military and earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. He joined Johnson & Johnson as a sales associate in 1988.