Medical Unit for Health Workers Decommissioned

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The Monrovia Medical Unit erected by the United States Department of Defense to treat healthcare providers who came down with Ebola has been decommissioned and turned over to the Liberian government.

The sophisticated mobile unit was built last year in Charlesville, Margibi County, by the Public Health Service under the Operation United Assistance (OUA) to provide adequate treatment for health workers contracting the Ebola virus while treating patients.

Prior to the unit’s erection during the peak of the Ebola crisis last year, over 50 health workers died from contracting the virus while attending to patients. The Unit was built by US troops sent to Liberia to help fight the virus.

Sharing his experience during the Ebola crisis, the commander of the Commission Corps Ebola Response in West Africa, Scott Giberson lauded Liberians for their resilience in observing health protocols.

He said their response to the Ebola disaster also included yellow fever, tsunami, the 9/11/ terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, amongst others.

He then commended the Government of Liberia and international partners who collectively joined forces to battle the Ebola virus that today Liberia stands to soon be declared free.

He said 42 patients were cared for at the unit, and information from the public affairs section of the unit notes that nine persons survived from the virus.

US Ambassador, Deborah Malac also lauded the United States Public Health Service team for its role in ending Ebola in Liberia.

She emphasized that health workers were at high risk and were dying from the virus, but the coming of the US Public Health Service team, under the Operation United Assistance, created hope and safety for health workers.

She, however, extended gratitude to the Liberian government and people, stressing, “If not for the extraordinary efforts of the Liberian government and the Liberians themselves, combined with the assistance of the United States and other international partners, the country would not be in the position that it is in today, that is, just days away from being declared Ebola-free.”

Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf commended the United States Government and Public Health Service and said while the Liberian government, civil society and the media were finding solutions without knowing which direction to take, international partners, including the United States, China and others intervened to build the hope that Liberians can overcome.

Counting lessons from the crisis, President Sirleaf indicated that the health system of Liberia collapsed during the crisis because Liberians themselves were not prepared.

She also noted that despite the collapse of the health system, all Liberians participated by playing their roles in observing health protocols and carrying on contact tracing.

Furthermore, she said partnership through which resources were mobilized to fight the disease immensely helped to put Liberia in the state it is today, thanking the US Government, China, and the European Union, and the rest of the partners for their humanitarian roles in the fight against the disease.

She reiterated Liberia 's post-Ebola recovery plan to include the rebuilding of the country’s health system, education and infrastructures, and reminded partners of their commitment to assisting Liberia to meet these goals.

The ceremony was attended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, House Speaker Alex Tyler, members of the Diplomatic Corps, government officials and others.

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