Liberia Dedicates U$6M Emergency Operating Center

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As part of the rebuilding of Liberia’s health system following the Ebola outbreak, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has turned over a newly erected Emergency Operating Center to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The center is located opposite the MOH and adjacent to the TB Annex at 72nd Junction. It is meant to enhance collection of data and information about Ebola and other life threatening diseases.
According to CDC Country Director, Desmond Williams, the center will be a place to train health workers to be adequately prepared for outbreaks and surveillance.
He said prior to dedicating the center yesterday, about 30 health workers were trained there in Epidemiology.
Mr. Williams said at a press briefing that CDC spent US$6 million to erect the structure.
He also indicated that US$75.7 million has been invested in the counties for operation of emergency centers.
In separate remarks, US Ambassador Deborah Malac and officials at the Centers for Disease Control said the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program provided US$100 million toward the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
Ambassador Malac said the newly dedicated center is now the final home of the Emergency Operating Center having operated in a temporary facility in Sinkor for a year and a half.
A representative of CDC, Jeffrey Bryant, in his remarks expressed delight over the construction of the center and attributed the success to the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program.
He said the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program was very timely in responding to their request for help to West Africans affected by Ebola when they at CDC expressed the need for a quick emergency response and intervention to the outbreak.
Also making remarks, Brennan Banks, Deputy Director for Programs at the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program said the center has several pieces of equipment, including computers which will help Liberian medical personnel to quickly respond to data gathering and training of local staff to address disease outbreaks.
He hoped that the center will be an establishment of excellence for all Liberians to benefit.
In her words of gratitude to the US Government, Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn said the erection of the center is in compliance with the consensus reached with partners to revitalize the health sector.
Dr. Dahn said the Ministry has developed nine pillars, among which are the erection of the Emergency Operating Center, training of competent health workers, establishment of public health facilities and information gathering and data collection.
She underscored that the US Government has been working along with the Ministry of Health in implementing the plan to rebuild the collapsed health system.
The support is evidenced by the establishment of Emergency Operating Centers in all of Liberia’s 15 counties, said Dr. Dahn.
She further indicated that the dedication of the center put government under obligation to make budgetary allotment for its operations.
Meanwhile, the CDC also pledged to support government through the Ministry of Health to ensure that technical equipment and training are provided to get Liberia prepared for any emergencies.

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