LIBERIA: Rivercess Health Team Craves For ETU, Ambulance

The Chief Health Officer (CHO) of Rivercess County, Dr. Wilmot L. Smith, is calling for the construction of an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Rivercess County to cater to Ebola-related cases.

He observed that it is currently “very difficult” to transport suspected Ebola patients from the county to the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia due to the long distance and bad road.

CHO Smith, who is also a member of the Rivercess Ebola Response Taskforce, said “the need for an ETU cannot be overemphasized as all of the surrounding counties are under Ebola attack, noting, "if there is a major outbreak, it will be a disaster as our ambulance has outlived its usefulness, having been around for more than seven years.”

“We are therefore appealing to partners and the MOH family for an ambulance to help with tackling cases vigorously as they unfold,” he added.

Smith told the Liberia News Agency that an ambulance was a cardinal component in the fight against the Ebola virus in the county.

“We have sealed up all of our entry points, we surveillance all those that are coming to our county so as to prevent massive eruption of this disease and our tracing teams are robustly proactive in the field because we don’t want to see Ebola flare up in our county”.

He disclosed that four probable cases of Ebola were recently reported in the county and that of this number two were transported to Monrovia for treatment while the other two have died.

In a related development, Smith said the Taskforce has received contributions from some lawmakers, including District # 2Representative Francis Paye who donated one generator, Ebola related materials and offered support to two district Taskforce teams.

He said the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare donated 50 pPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits and 50 boots, chlorine, and provided US$10,000 for the training of 140 community health volunteers.

He noted that few weeks ago, the Ministry gave L$9,639,403 to the County Health Team to enhance its capacity in the fight against Ebola, while other well-meaning citizens also made some contributions.

According to Mr. Smith, the Internal Affairs Ministry has also provided US$2, 800, while US$10, 000 has been approved  by the county administration and the Legislative Caucus for the fight against Ebola in the county.

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