ETU at ‘540’ Dedicated, But not Many Patients Expected, Doctors Say


A 300-bed Ebola Treatment Center, located at the New Ministry of Defense building in Congo Town, Monrovia, was last Friday dedicated by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, but doctors told reporters they don’t expect a flood of patients.

“540,” the name of the community that hosts the Ministry of Defense building and new ETU in Congo Town, boasts 20 doctors, among them Cubans, 28 nurses and 68 other specialized medical professionals, including psycho-social counselors.

 Human resource officer, Lavele Sumbo told the Daily Observer that the center would receive patients beginning this week.

  “Though the center can accommodate 300 persons,” Sumbo said, “we intend to admit ten patients a week.” He said the intent is to restrict the center to 100 patients to ensure proper care, due to the delicate nature of the disease.

 “It will also depend on the number of Ebola infested patients that will be brought to the center,” Sumbo said.

  Health workers and doctors at the center held a meeting yesterday, preparing to receive its first patients, beginning today, Monday, November 3.

  They, however, told the Daily Observer that with the positive decline of the infection and the lower report of Ebola victims, “We don’t expect to receive a rush of patients to this center.”

 Sumbo, who has worked at the J.F.K Medical Center as a nurse throughout the Ebola fight, expressed the hope that with the decline of infections, it would provide the center much capacity to care for the predicted few expected at the center.

 The united front to defeat the Ebola Virus Disease has been successful, simply because health workers and doctors were prepared to stake their lives to save their fellow Liberians.

 He recalled during the crisis period when Ebola victims were more than could be helped, “We could only do what was necessary by not abandoning our fellow Liberians who were in need in that critical period.

 “When I saw the recovery of more than one hundred infected Liberians,” Sumbo recalled, “I knew that the war against the Ebola Virus Disease was winnable.”

 Physician Assistant Lawrence Doe, who had trained in the People’s Republic of China said, “The fight against the Ebola Virus Disease” was a serious challenge to the medical profession.

 With reference to the dedicated ETU, Doe said that since the opening last Friday, there has not been any rush of patients, and as a result, there is a high hope that the center would not be overwhelmed.

 He could, however, not be specific about any prediction of the number expected, but Doe said a couple of weeks from now could make all the difference regarding the number of patients that would be cared for.

 The new Ministry of Defense building got the nickname 540, according to residents, as a result of former combatants who were housed there during President Charles Taylor’s administration, and were each paid US$540.00 a month.


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