Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) has opened a transit point on Bushrod Island to help deal with suspected Ebola cases in the area before transferring those testing positive to ETUs and sending patients with other conditions to Redemption and other hospitals for further treatment.
The Liberian healthcare system has been seriously impacted by the Ebola epidemic. Many hospitals and clinics are closed, and those that are running turn feverish or vomiting patients away for fear that they have Ebola.”
Speaking yesterday during the official opening of the unit, the Swiss Field Coordinator of MSF, Sebastian Stew, said the unit is intended to screen suspected Ebola patients seeking treatment at Redemption Hospital.
According to him, the unit is constructed to help the Redemption Hospital avoid dealing with Ebola patients through the screening process and keep suspected Ebola cases away from other patients.
“We want the people of New Kru Town to take advantage of this opportunity because this is one of the ways that Ebola can be eradicated from Bushrod Island and Liberia. Patients with Ebola symptoms will be sent from the out-patient department of Redemption Hospital to the Transit Unit to have the screening for Ebola.”
The Transit Centre is a small short-stay Ebola Treatment Centre (24-72hrs). It is intended to receive patients with signs and symptoms of Ebola in a safe and protected environment, take care of them while allowing nurses to test the patients to confirm Ebola Virus infection before transferring them by ambulance to the MSF Ebola Treatment Center at ELWA, or any other Ebola Treatment Centre, if they are confirmed as Ebola positive.
According to Stew, “Redemption is one of the most important hospitals in Monrovia, providing free care for everyone. New Kru Town is an area that has been severely hit by Ebola and it makes sense to set up the Transit Unit there.
He continued, “We are hoping to receive the first patient today and as the Redemption Hospital is open, the unit can help greatly to support the more suspected cases. We have 10 units and will make sure that no one infects the other. The unit is large enough for each patient to occupy a room or unit.”
Mr. Stew further explained that the unit has a team of health promoters and psychosocial workers, who will be the link between the patients and their families and there will be opportunities for the family to come and visit.
The medical director of Redemption Hospital, Dr. Mohammed Sankoh, said he was impressed with the unit as it would help to handle suspected Ebola patients before determining further treatment.
He explained that the entire Redemption Hospital would soon be open to the public, especially with the opening of new Ebola transit point nearby.
“We want to get all the materials disinfected because the hospital was also run as an Ebola holding unit and most of the patients diagnosed were Ebola patients. This transit point is very important as it gave us ample time to reopen the hospital,” he said.