Senate Committee Outlines Ebola Response Plans: Wants Secluded Ebola Hospital Outside City

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A three-member Senate committee yesterday presented to the Senate plenary an “Ebola Coordinated Response Plan,” which it noted would help restore hope, rebuild the image in Monrovia and improve the situation in other counties.

In the first of three plans, the committee is calling for the creation of a secluded and well guided hospital outside of the capital city.

The committee is headed by Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence  includes Senators John Ballout and Mobutu Nyepan.

According to them, the hospital when created, would  include testing, isolation, quarantine, treatment centers, burial sites, warehouse, and staff centers.

The field hospital approach would be extended to counties, using smaller units or smaller capacities.

The creation of a  secluded hospital outside Monrovia, according to the committee, would further help reduce  Ebola activities in the capital city, reduce fear within the business community and restore confidence in the economy and cause airlines to feel safe to start flying into the country again.

The plans, if adopted, will bring reduction in the spread of the virus, while suspects at those centers will be secured and not be able to escape.

Making the power-point presentation, Senator Lawrence said the committee went as far as contacting several companies that are involved with the setting up of these field hospitals, something she claimed they have done in several countries to combat diseases.

Senator Lawrence named one of those companies as BLUEMED, which she said is a credible company certified by the United States-based Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The presentation portrayed  BLUEMED as the world’s leader in deployable medical supplies that are state of the art, scalable, portable and can be rapidly deployed to scenes  of virus outbreak. The  company is capable to support medical and  emergency management services, NGOs, agencies and governments.

The management aspect,  according to the presentation,  will be handled by the international organizations, and the Red Cross.

The CDC will be responsible for the testing center, the treatment center by Medicins Sans Frontiers, WHO and IMC; Technical support by Ugandans and food distribution by the World Food Program, while the isolation center will be handled by MSF/WHO/IMC.

 The burial of Ebola victims will be done by the Red Cross and ICRC, while the Ministry of Health will coordinate all efforts and health workers will serve as counterparts to ensure the training of Liberian health workers in the process.

The Lawrence committee meanwhile is presenting a total budget of approximately US$16.6 Million for creation of the secluded hospital and other facilities in the counties.   

In a breakdown, the committee said the cost for the entire Ebola Center is US$4,500,000; shipping by air is US$700,000; while eight testing centers will cost US$6,400,000. Montserrado County will have three centers, Grand Bassa, Nimba, Bong, and Lofa Counties will each have one center. The amount of US$5,000,000 will be used for health workers and supplies.

Meanwhile, the committee will make a comprehensive presentation on Tuesday to allow the plenary make an input and the final plan will  thereafter be sent to the President.

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