Two Liberian healthcare workers were released on Monday, from the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU). The MMU’s mission is to care for healthcare workers who become infected with EVD while treating Ebola patients.
Since opening its doors at the beginning of November, the MMU has received and provided care for four patients, all Liberian healthcare workers.
Healthcare workers, such as doctors and nurses, are at a higher risk of infection, because they are in close, sustained contact with Ebola patients, who are symptomatic and highly infectious.
Stanley Sayonkon, a 42-year-old nurse, and Mark Tate, a 43-year-old clinic records specialist, were admitted to the MMU, a 25-bed field hospital constructed by the U.S. Department of Defense earlier this month, and successfully treated for Ebola.
The two men have since returned home to be united with their families, a U.S. Embassy release said.
Before they left the facility, the men left their “mark of survival,” a yellow handprint, on the MMU’s Ebola survival wall. The colors of the wall, maritime blue and quarantine yellow, are the official colors of the USPHS and symbolic of the long history of the USPHS’ fight against infectious pathogens.
Sayonkon and Tate have meanwhile expressed gratitude to the staff at the MMU for providing the needed care and helping them recover from the deadly virus.
“We couldn’t be more honored to have Sayonkon and Tate walk out of the clinic cured of Ebola,” Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, Acting U.S. Deputy Surgeon General, is quoted by the release as telling the two men shortly after they were declared Ebola-free.
“They are healthcare heroes. I also want to thank all our officers for their superb service in providing care to Sayonkon and Tate, and to future healthcare workers, who may seek care at the MMU.”
The USPHS’ pronouncement is not only good news for the two patients, but a positive sign for other brave healthcare workers on the frontlines that there are resources for them should they become ill with the virus.
The MMU is staffed by a specialized team of officers from the USPHS Commissioned Corps, which is led by Rear Admiral Scott Giberson, Acting U.S. Deputy Surgeon General.
The Commissioned Corps, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a deployable uniformed service of the United States, with more than 6,800 full-time, highly qualified public health professionals, serving mostly the underserved and vulnerable populations both domestically and internationally.