The first Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) to be constructed in Tubmanburg, Bomi County with the support of the United States Government has been dedicated.
In her remarks at the dedicatory ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac extended appreciation to the Liberian Government for providing the environment for the U.S. Government to operate in while combating the deadly virus.
She indicated that the dedication in Tubmanburg marks part of the commitment the U.S. Government made with its Liberian counterparts to train the Armed Forces of Liberia. She observed that the AFL has made a good impression on its American counterparts by demonstrating AFL’s engineering expertise in constructing the ETU.
Ambassador Malac reiterated her admonition to Liberians not to be complacent with progress made, but instead to continue to practice preventive measures being propagated by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and other partners in order to help bring the rate of infection to zero.
She recognized the mutual and extraordinary collaboration between Liberian and United States governments and commended the AFL for the construction carried out, supported by the U.S. government.
Ambassador Malac said the collaboration in tackling the Ebola infection is a long-term program considering that other ETUs are still to be built in other parts of the country.
Vice President Joseph Boakai in an interview following his tour of the facility, commended the U.S. Government for its support.
He expressed optimism that with the level of cooperation received from partners, including the U.S., Ebola will soon become history in Liberia.
VP Boakai urged the Immigration authorities to be mindful of the porous borders and control them in a way that the virus will be prevented from spreading.
There have been reports of tremendous progress in the fight against Ebola in Liberia. According to World Health Organization (WHO) and MSF, there is a considerable decline in cases of Ebola in Liberia.
Considering what other affected countries should learn from Liberia, VP Boakai said the reduction in the infection rate is because of the hygienic practices Liberians have adapted to, and therefore imitating such practices will help them to better combat Ebola.
Bill Berger, leader of the Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) at the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, said DART was interested in seeing more treatment units built to fight the disease.
He also commended the AFL for providing the engineering expertise to construct the ETU and the government for providing the environment to aid U.S. response to the disease.
The construction of the Tubmanburg ETU took the AFL 35 days to complete and was overseen by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The U.S. Agency for International Development is funding the management and clinical care of the ETU, which will be provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the leadership of the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare.
There are currently 24 international staffers from countries including U.S., UK, Eritrea, Ireland, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Romania, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Zimbabwe under IOM and partnering with USAID to provide clinical care and manage the ETU. There are also 100 local staff.
The ETU is built on a two-acre site with 13,056 square feet of treatment space, 100-bed capacity, 13,500 gallons of water storage. Construction materials were procured locally including 3,100 cubic yards of gravel.
The ceremony marking the dedication of the well-constructed ETU was witnessed by a number of key government officials, including Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, House Speaker Alex Tyler, Defense Minister Brownei Samulkai, Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly and other officials from Ministry of Health & Social Welfare.