More Than Me (MTM), run by award winning Katie Meyler, has been doing more than expected in the fight against Ebola.
Since her ambulance service picked up last month, (MTM) has overseen dozens of sick rushed to the hospital, quarantined homes fed, the government supplied, orphaned children cared for and those involved in handling infected Ebola victims protected. Many lives have been saved as a result.
“We’re just doing all we can to make sure we save lives and help people,” Katie stated while rushing a sick family to Redemption hospital.
Though the organization has been acclaimed by international news headlines across the world for its efforts, little to no publicity has been given to Katie locally.
“Liberians need to know what we are doing here and how we are helping everyone who’s involved in the fight against Ebola. We’re filling in the gaps and assisting the Ministry of Health, the Liberia National Police (LNP) and those affected directly.
MTM is making sure needs are met, awareness workers are paid and supplies are given out” stated MTM’s operations manager, Olu Williams.
Quite recently, Caldwell, a community that has been considered a hot zone by the Ministry of Health, received relief from MTM. Nine houses are said to be quarantined, and each has been given rice, oil, sardines, bleach, vita cube packs, buckets and other necessities by MTM.
“Dr. Bernice Dahn of the Ministry of Health, who spearheads the Ministry of Health’s Task Force Team, along with Mr. Fallah, who is in control of the awareness teams, has told us where the hot zones are, said Williams, narrating how MTM had created a formula for West Point and Budget Bureau that has helped slow down the Ebola spread. Both places are at minimum now, while Budget Bureau is almost eradicated.
“We are performing the same formula and targeting these zones to help reduce cases and keep people who are being quarantined in their homes,” added Williams.
Meanwhile Williams said MTM has a staff of experts comprising a nursing staff, social workers and an administration team. He says his team has single handedly helped to eradicate and reduce Ebola cases in several locations.
“Our team made sure people monitored quarantined houses to make sure their occupants stayed at home and had all their needs met. We gave them what they needed; things to keep them home and also met other awareness teams already on the ground and fully supported there efforts,” he explained.
Meanwhile, it is said that the Ministry of Health has also been provided protective gear and assistance by MTM. According to Williams, there have been instances where MTM has had to place some of MOH task force employees on MTM’s payroll.
“The police, who deal with the Ebola dead bodies, are supplied by us with PPEs, masks, boots and other important gear. We supply and also assist with finances when needed whenever the Ministry runs out, or their supplies come late,” he stated.
Regarding the many people who die from non-Ebola illnesses, MTM head nurse Iris Martoi, said the organization has hired nurses to treat those cases un-related to Ebola.
“Those nurses working for MTM are registered nurses (RN), nurses’ aids who work under supervision, and other nurses that graduated but have not been certified, ” Martoi said.
“Each team is headed by a licensed nurse, and we came into effect months ago when ETU’s were running out of space. We decide to have home nurses who could go into the communities to give some service to some of the cases that were not Ebola cases. Because of the situation then, everyone having to be held in a holding center until cleared, and no ETU’s and the fear people had of going to the hospital all together, that’s how the whole idea of home nursing came about.
We dealt with sick people that had been identified by the tracking unit, those that don’t have the virus, but have malaria, typhoid and other minor sicknesses that can be treated at home, we treated and still do,” she said.
There is also a social worker at MTM who makes constant check up’s on those being quarantined and have been affected emotionally and traumatized.
J. Krubo D. Kawah, a social worker at MTM since the outbreak, says MTM has backed the government’s effort against this Ebola outbreak since the beginning.
“Since we’ve started we counseled many homes and made sure that we meet their needs. I investigate every case and also make surprise visits to make sure the cases are genuine. Building trust with those affected is what’s important. Though it’s a challenge during this period in which people are losing a lot to Ebola, I’m there to counsel them and to let them know I am there for them; and that everything will be okay. Some refuse to talk, but I have to create that trust and observe what makes them open up,” she said.