Aidex Voices

Arco exhibited at AidEx 2017 in Brussels.

Thomas Martin, Chairman of leading UK safety company, Arco, talks about the company’s experiences as a supplier of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and training to support the UK Government’s response to the Ebola crisis and the lessons learned.

Arco supply equipment and training to those responding to emergency situations around the globe, and were incredibly proud to have been part of the UK’s response to the Ebola crisis.  Working with the Department for International Development and UKAid, they supplied over 750,000 PPE kits for those at the frontline as well as training and support to enable them to use the equipment effectively and safely.  The circumstances were unprecedented from a global health perspective, with the complexities and complications of caring for those affected by the Ebola disease at the same time as protecting health and aid workers there to assist.

Since then, they have undertaken a period of assessment and reflection and listened to other leading players in the field, to look at how everyone responded and the lessons we could all learn in order to improve capabilities to respond in times of crisis. The Ebola crisis identified the challenges of coordinating humanitarian responses on a global scale and meant Arco could share findings to colleagues working in government, the charity sector and other NGOs.

Arco have created a White Paper report - Lessons Learnt and Looking Forward: Personal Protective Equipment and Logistics in the Global Response to the Ebola Crisis in West Africa - that captures the challenges faced by all humanitarian organisations and suppliers in providing emergency equipment and aid and delivering it to where it’s needed, swiftly and effectively.  Here are a number of key recommendations as a result of findings:

  • UK Government to standardise all equipment, protocols and standards for actors and benefactors
  • Development of internationally accepted minimum standards for PPE deployed for specific disease type out-breaks
  • Delivery of standard training protocols on the use of PPE
  • Working with the UN WFP Logistics Cluster, develop a MOU for suppliers and manufacturers specifying the standard and quality of supply required

In Arco’s view, preparation is key to saving more lives and keeping staff protected in some of the most dangerous situations in the world.

For your copy of the Arco White Paper click here.