Belfast Telegraph

Antrim products help fight Ebola in Africa

By Clare Weir

An Antrim manufacturing company is helping to fight the spread of Ebola in west Africa.

Fast Engineering's Fasttank liquid storage products are already used in oil and chemical clean-ups, aid programmes, fire fighting, fish farming, animal rescue and even for mud wrestling matches, mass baptisms and raising zoo animals.

The company founder has revealed to the Business Telegraph that some of its products, including portable decontamination pools and bedding materials, are being used in West Africa to help halt the virulent spread of Ebola.

The firm sends tanks to more than 80 countries throughout the world and exports 90% of its products for use in both man-made disasters and natural catastrophes like typhoons, earthquakes and disease.

Seamus Connolly from the company said it has a number of products being used in the battle against the disease.

"We have a range of products being used by aid agencies in West Africa in the fight against Ebola," he said.

"Our products are impregnated with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties so they are particularly useful in preventing cross-contamination and also in hazardous material handling.

"The products are mainly being used to hold water, for decontamination and for bedding."

The company's tanks have been deployed during wildfires in Australia, after the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year.

Meanwhile, another company based in Antrim is also sending products to West Africa.

A range of technologies from medical testing firm Randox are being used across the worst affected areas. As Ebola patients suffer organ failure and other complications, Randox products are being used to assess these symptoms.

"Randox is active in West Africa, providing a range of advanced diagnostic technologies across a spectrum of hospitals and laboratories," said a spokeswoman from the company.

"Randox analysers and broad range of tests can be used by clinicians to assess and monitor Ebola patients."

Belfast Telegraph