A U.S. based National Nurses United will join with the International Medical Corps on Thursday, September 18, 2014 announce a major donation of special protective Hazmat suits for embattled nurses, doctors, and other health workers heroically fighting to stem the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
During the presentation a press conference will be held including an update from the International Medical Corps, which is on the front lines of the Ebola response, and from the ground by the National Private Sector Healthcare
International Medical Corps, a preeminent first responder and humanitarian organization dedicated to providing health care and training for communities hit by disaster, will deliver the suits to Liberia. International Medical Corps is operating a 70-bed Ebola treatment unit in Bong County where personal protective equipment is critically needed to safeguard health workers.
Lack of protective suits is a major problem slowing efforts to contain the spread of Ebola. The rate of infection among nurses and other health workers is unprecedented accelerated by the shortages of protective equipment.
NNU will also voice concerns about inadequate preparedness in U.S. hospitals from major disease outbreaks, whether from Ebola or a mutated virus version of Ebola, or similar epidemics. A California nurse died in 2009 during the H1N1 outbreak.
“Tragically, the Ebola outbreak is only getting worse and spreading to more countries. All of us have a responsibility to support the humanitarian effort. This is only the beginning of a stepped up effort in the U.S. We must act before it is too late,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, director of NNU’s Registered Nurse Response Network, which has been raising funds for protective equipment.
“We are very grateful to National Nurses United for their generous assistance in arranging the donation of personal protective equipment and for raising funds to support IMC’s Ebola Treatment Unit in Bong, Liberia,” said Rabih Torbay, of the International Medical Corps. “We must work together to combat this deadly disease that, uncontained, might well become a global catastrophe. Partnerships like this are absolutely vital.”
“Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in March of this year, more than 2,200 of our citizens have died including 89 health workers to date. More health workers are expected to die due to the lack of protective suits while fighting the Ebola virus,” said Garlo Isaac Williams, general secretary of the National Private Sector Health Workers Union of Liberia.
“We know that the strong must always help the weak. Considering the serious situation we find ourselves in, we appeal to all to extend solidarity to assist us in this fight against Ebola,” Williams said.
National Nurses United
California Nurses Assn./NNOC
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