Liberia's government has begun making payments to the families of health workers who died of Ebola in the world's worst ever outbreak, an official said Thursday.

So far, 11 families have received $5,000 each, said Tolbert Nyenswah, who leads the government's Ebola response; dozens more payments are in the works. Ebola has killed 180 health workers in the country, according to the World Health Organization.

The World Bank is providing the funding for the stipends, according to state radio.

Ebola, often called the caregivers' disease, has decimated the ranks of doctors and nurses in the three countries hardest hit in this outbreak: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It is transmitted through bodily fluids. In the early days of the outbreak, many health workers did not know how to protect themselves or lacked the equipment to do so.

Liberia currently has no Ebola cases, but it must still wait several weeks before it is officially declared free of the disease.