Over a year after opening our first Ebola Treatment Unit in West Africa, the focus remains on reducing the number of new cases to zero while working to strengthen local health care systems for a better future.
Our Ebola response consists of a broad range of services, including:
Rebuilding Health Care Infrastructure
International Medical Corps is working to strengthen local health care systems in Ebola-affected countries to lift the overall level of care and to better prepare these nations for future public health emergencies, including a possible infectious disease outbreak such as Ebola. We support screening and referral units (SRUs) at hospitals and clinics, which require all staff, patients and visitors to be screened for Ebola-like symptoms prior to entering the facility. Anyone exhibiting signs of the virus is isolated and referred for further observation, testing and—if needed—treatment.
To expand the pool of health workers capable of managing and working in Ebola-affected areas, International Medical Corps is providing high-quality training for local staff, partners, and NGOs. Together with Massachusetts General Hospital, International Medical Corps developed a curriculum drawing from groups including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a broad-based training strategy to inform, protect, and guide health workers unfamiliar with the Ebola Virus Disease.
Our team plays a key role in providing psychosocial support, counselling, and care to admitted EVD patients, survivors and their families. In addition, our psychosocial experts are reaching out to local communities to discuss Ebola myths and the importance of seeking medical attention if ill. From making follow‐up calls and visits to discharged patients and bereaved families, our psychosocial team is a key component of our response efforts.
International Medical Corps currently operates Ebola-related programs in five West African countries, including the three nations at the heart of the outbreak, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. We also operate in Mali, which suffered a brief, minor outbreak late last year, and in Guinea-Bissau, which remains Ebola free but is considered vulnerable to the virus. Most of the staff—about 90%—are local health care workers trained in Ebola treatment and prevention.