Microsoft pledges support to fight ebola

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The current outbreak of the deadly ebola virus is one of the most lethal on record, and for that reason many organisations and governments are trying to do as much as they can to eradicate the virus. Starting in West Africa a number of months ago, ebola has now managed to spread to Europe and North America – with authorities scrambling to prevent further infections.

Technology giant Microsoft is also lending a helping hand to fight the disease by setting up a research project through its Azure cloud servers, and it now accepting proposals on how to fight the virus and stem the spread thereof.

“Microsoft Research is soliciting cloud computing proposals for projects that are working towards developing a better understanding of the spread and cure of the ebola virus and its associated factors. Qualifying proposals will be awarded allocations of Microsoft Azure compute and storage resources,” it said in the proposal.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has gotten involved with the fight against ebola. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $50 million “to support the scale up of emergency efforts to contain the ebola outbreak.” Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has also pledged $26.5 million to the cause.

“The foundation will immediately release flexible funds to United Nations agencies and international organizations involved in the response to enable them and national governments to purchase badly needed supplies and scale up emergency operations in affected countries,” the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in a press statement.

Earlier this month Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also donated $25 million (around R210 million) to help fight the disease.