A new Ebola Treatment Unit was opened in Bong County, Liberia, today bringing the total number of facilities capable of treating the disease in the country to six. The facility was opened by International Medical Corps at the site about 120 miles north of Monrovia – only the second location in the country, outside of the capital, capable of treating patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus. With the opening of this facility, International Medical Corps is one of only a handful ofinternational NGOs in the world to be treating Ebola patients.
International Medical Corps will operate the facility, beginning with 10 patients and gradually scaling up to 70 beds within weeks. Once at full capacity, the facility will employ more than 200 specially-trained medical staff, 90% of whom will be Liberians.
“We greatly appreciate the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) and Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance’s (OFDA) swift and generous support that enables International Medical Corps to open this critically needed facility in Bong County,” said Nancy A. Aossey, President & CEO, International Medical Corps. “Ebola is one of the most virulent diseases in the world and continues to claim lives on a daily basis. The treatment of suspected and confirmed Ebola patients is hugely challenging, and requires extensive infection control measures. The Bong County Ebola Treatment Unit is equipped to provide quality, dignified care to patients, while also ensuring that families and communities are protected from potential exposure. This is the only way to effectively prevent new infections and eventually turn the tide on this outbreak.”
At least 1,700 people in Liberia have been infected with the Ebola virus and more than 870 have died during the recent outbreak. Of Liberia’s 15 counties, 10 have reported confirmed Ebola cases, while three other counties have reported suspected Ebola cases.
Sean Casey, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team Leader in Liberia commented, “Last week, in one day alone, ten new suspected Ebola cases were identified in Bong County. This is a crisis that is growing in scale and intensity. Everybody living in this part of Liberia is waiting for this facility to open and we will be working day and night to treat patients and to get the facility up to full capacity as quickly as possible.”
International Medical Corps’ operation of the facility is made possible by funding from the USAID and ODFA.