In support of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, the United States Government, through the U. S. Army Engineers, has completed its third Ebola Treatment Unit in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Speaking at the tour of the new facility last Friday, Major General Gary Volesky, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, explained that, this is the first Ebola treatment unit built completely by the U.S. Army Engineers to help in caring for Ebola patients.
Maj. Gen. Volesky explained that the facility has the capacity of 100 beds. The construction lasted 23 days with the materials being procured both locally and abroad.
He expressed gratitude to the Own Your Own community for their collaboration with the U.S. Army and support in the construction of the Ebola treatment unit.
According to Maj. Gen. Volesky, “Three of the Ebola treatment units have been completed, including Bomi, Tubmanburg city, Sinje in Grand Cape Mount, and this one in Buchanan, Grand Bassa. A total of 17 Ebola units are expected to be built across Liberia.”
Also speaking, the Head of Ebola Disaster Assistant Response Team (DART) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mia Beers, said they are currently working to ensure the first 15 Ebola treatment units are built across Liberia.
She explained that due to the nature of the epidemic in Liberia, the U.S. Government is focusing on building the first 15 units but will make sure that ETUs are in all of the counties to support the fight against Ebola.
“We want to make sure that these Ebola treatment units are built in the 15 counties to help access rural areas and make sure that we follow the transmission of the outbreak in all parts of Liberia and be able to fight it.”
Ms. Beers said they are working with the Government of Liberia, especially with the new strategies of fighting Ebola with emphasis on rural areas on how to put in place mechanisms to contain the virus.
She further explained that the most important thing is to have a rapid team out there working with county officials to ensure that every county can respond as quickly as possible to any outbreak in the area.
She continued, “We have different ETU plans in the Southeast, including Fish Town, Greenville, River Cess, most importantly to look at health strategizes in the various counties in the fight against Ebola. Rapid teams can really help us in the process. We are chasing after the suspected cases also in the southeastern areas, because they are hard to reach.
“We are getting the rapid team setups from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the various county officials, and other partners as well as air transport to handle these cases.”
The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Brig/Gen Daniel Ziankahn, said they are working in collaboration with the U.S. Army in supporting the fight against the Ebola virus, including the construction of Ebola Treatment Units across Liberia.