Ebola treatment – doing it right

We could have used this approach to Ebola treatment in Sierra Leone a while ago. Small and decentralized – placed in the community where needed.  Fast start-up.  But we’ll take it now.  At least we’re learning from the whole Ebola experience and how to respond.


From Deputy Chief of Mission Kathleen FitzGibbon, US Embassy, Freetown  https://www.facebook.com/sierraleone.usembassy?fref=nf

January 5, 2015

Today, we participated in the opening of a 20-bed Ebola Treatment Unit in Kontorloh Community, Wellington. With USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance funded this collaborative effort with the local community, a local non-governmental organization called Lifeline, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Oxfam, and Med Air, an international NGO that will operate the facility. The U.K. government provided funding for construction. This facility is a “pilot” in the sense that it is a small facility, constructed in just a few weeks time, right in the heart of a deeply affected community. The scale of this operation allows us to be flexible and responsive to local needs. There are approximately 105 workers at the facility. I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the health care workers, who proudly showed off “scrubs” made by a local tailor. Most of these young health care workers are from the surrounding area and many of them are Ebola survivors. MedAir officials told us that they made hiring survivors a priority because they had been through Ebola and could provide motivation and encouragement to others going through the illness. The health care workers demonstrated for the community how patients are admitted and informed them that the decontamination solution does not spread Ebola. We hope that this local solution engenders trust and can convince residents to send sick relatives and neighbors to the treatment unit. What I saw today is a community determined to stop Ebola.

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