International Medical Corps confirmed today the death of a staff member in Sierra Leone who worked at its Kambia Ebola Treatment Center and tested positive for Ebola last week. The individual was being treated at Kerry Town Ebola Treatment Center in Freetown and later died there. The name of the staff member, a Sierra Leone national, is being withheld, as the family has asked for privacy.
“On behalf of the entire International Medical Corps family, we send our deepest condolences to the family of our heroic staff member, who was helping the people of Sierra Leone, and sadly passed away on Saturday, July 11, 2015,” said President & CEO Nancy A. Aossey.
Alongside local authorities, International Medical Corps is investigating the source of the infection and helping to identify and monitor contacts for the tracing process. As one of a handful of international non-governmental organizations treating Ebola patients in West Africa, International Medical Corps is cognizant of the real and ever-present risks associated with the lifesaving work of treating the children, women and men who have Ebola.
“The safety of our staff is paramount. We will continue to do all we can to safeguard their health,” Aossey said. “This death also reminds us all that the fight against Ebola in West Africa is far from over, and International Medical Corps will remain vigilant in our efforts to combat the disease.”
International Medical Corps has been treating Ebola patients in West Africa since its first Ebola Treatment Unit in Bong County, Liberia, opened on September 15, 2014. In total, International Medical Corps has nearly 1,550 staff working on the ground in West Africa for the Ebola response, including approximately 1,390 local staff and nearly 160 international staff. International Medical Corps monitors and trains staff in the use of personal protective equipment, treatment protocols and infection control procedures at our Ebola treatment facilities and has strict protocols in place should a staff member be exposed to Ebola.