Could This Kickstarter Help Save The Lives Of Ebola Patients In Africa?

'You can't fight Ebola in the dark,' says WakaWaka CEO Camille van Gestel.

You can't fight what you can't see. And with more than 90 percent of the population in the West African country of Liberia living without lights on a daily basis, fighting the Ebola crisis in that nation has been especially hard. Health care workers there can't count on reliable, safe lighting.

That got Camille van Gestel thinking. The CEO of WakaWaka tried to figure out a way his solar lighting company could make a difference in the fight against the deadly virus.

"We say you can't fight Ebola in the dark and for that simple reason we decided to send 10,000 [solar-powered] lights to Liberia," van Gestel told MTV News on Thursday (November 6). "Imagine trying to treat Ebola patients and then the lights go out, it's a suicide mission. There are health care workers who have to deal with that and a little bit of light can literally save lives."



And so van Gestel decided to dedicate a Kickstarter campaign to aid the courageous workers who are battling the virus in Liberia, where nearly 2,700 people have died of the disease to date. With less than a week to go, almost 1,900 people have made pledges so far, raising $240,000, or well above the $70,000 goal, which van Gestel said will provide much-needed supplies to doctors in that country. Because of the lack of electricity, Liberians and the doctors who are there treating patients often have to rely on dangerous and toxic kerosene lamps once the sun goes down.



"On average, people pledge enough for at least one unit," he said, adding that the goal is to send more than 10,000 units to the area. Each solar light will be packaged with some protective gear, antiseptic, disposable gloves, awareness materials on prevention and a water purifier. And, when the crisis is over, van Getel said his hope is that the lights will have a lasting impact on the citizens of Liberia. "The lights will still be there and still be able to make people more resilient for the next crisis," he said.



Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have also gotten in on the fight against Ebola and now FB has created a button that allows users to donate as well.