Since mid-2014, AmeriCares has supported Liberia’s fight against the Ebola Virus Outbreak by recruiting staff for and managing one Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia while fully supplying two others. AmeriCares staff has established an office and warehouse for supply distribution to health facilities while managing our longer term commitment in the region to build the capacity of the health care system to meet future health crises.
Snapshot of Liberia:
Liberia, according to the World Health Organization, has one of the most fragile health infrastructures in the world. With an estimated population of 1.4 million, there is approximately 1 physician for every 100,000 people – and the death of so many health workers from Ebola has reduced that number even further. The health care situation has dire consequences:
- Life expectancy is 60 years of age
- Roughly 14% of population is under the age of 14
- As the Ebola Outbreak affects more health care workers, health facilities have severely reduced services or closed altogether
- People already living with malaria and typhoid are unable to find treatment due to closed health facilities and/or priority of medical treatment of patients afflicted with Ebola
Responding to the devastating effect on health care from the 2003 civil war, AmeriCares sent over $4 million in medicines and medical supplies to Liberia. Since that time we have provided more support for the beleaguered health system.
In September of 2014, AmeriCares recruited all of the physicians and nurses needed to staff the Ebola treatment unit (ETU) built by the U.S. Department of Defense in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, as part of a partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and funded by USAID. AmeriCares managed the facility and its staff of more than 180 health workers while fully supporting three treatment facilities with medicine and supplies.
At the height of the outbreak in September of 2014, AmeriCares recruited all of the physicians and nurses needed to staff the Ebola treatment unit (ETU) built by the U.S. Department of Defense in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, as part of a partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and funded by USAID. AmeriCares managed the facility and its staff of more than 180 health workers; the team revised safety protocols and maintained a constant state of readiness to isolate and treat Ebola patients, from construction at the height of the health emergency through the treatment center’s decommission after the outbreak had greatly diminished. In addition, AmeriCares provided all medical supplies needed to treat Ebola patients and protect staff at two other Ebola treatment centers managed by IOM in Liberia. Under direction of AmeriCares staff, health workers at the Buchanan ETU staff also provided other important health services to local communities.
As part of a longer term program to strengthen an already under-resourced health system weakened by years of civil war and devastated by Ebola, AmeriCares has begun a project to increase access and improve health services for mothers and newborns in Grand Bassa County.
Safe Hospitals Our goal is to train and protect this generation and the next generation of healthcare providers in post-conflict settings. This initiative involves the necessary supplies, equipment, training and safety protocols that will support, protect and sustain health workers in their mission to serve the health needs of their communities –the cornerstone of a thriving health system,
We seek to establish working relationships with Ministries of Health and key local stakeholders in order to rebuild and strengthen the health care system so badly damaged by the Ebola outbreak and already fragile following many years of civil war. We maintain core components of our programs through partnerships with leading governmental, health, and academic institutions.
AmeriCares Medical Outreach program has sponsored 37 groups of US-based physicians traveling to Liberia on short-term medical mission trips since 1992. Most of the focus during the Ebola crisis has been in Liberia, including global networks, providing materials and procurement to volunteer health care workers serving those in need.
Recent News from Liberia
AmeriCares is on the frontlines of the Zika crisis, caring for patients with suspected infections and providing education on how to prevent the disease. Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the organization is partnering with hospitals and clinics to ensure they are well equipped to address the intensifying health crisis.
Skilled health workers are critical to a full recovery from the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. AmeriCares is working in Liberia and Sierra Leone to strengthen the workforce and health facilities and rebuild community trust in health services.
As local and international efforts significantly slow the spread of Ebola in West Africa, AmeriCares continues to support treatment of Ebola patients and protect health workers, while beginning to rebuild and strengthen devastated health systems.
This fate of a husband and wife in a Liberian village is the story of Ebola: the cruel reality and courageous survival that people in Liberia and the other countries of West Africa are facing every day in the many long months of the Ebola outbreak.
To save an 18-month-old Ebola patient, the medical team at the Ebola treatment unit in Sinje, Liberia turned to one thing that is usually avoided with this deadly disease: human contact. AmeriCares provides all medicine and supplies at the treatment unit, which is managed by the International Organization for Migration.
Stamford, Conn. – Dec. 18, 2014 – Global pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk has donated $1 million to support AmeriCares comprehensive response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak.
AmeriCares is recruiting medical professional to fight the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. The recruitment effort is part of a new partnership between AmeriCares and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and funded by USAID to provide qualified medical personnel and adequate medical supplies for an Ebola Treatment Unit.
Dr. Richard Sacra, Dr. Richard Sacra,a volunteer doctor working with SIM-USA, using medicines and supplies donated by Medical Outreach program, travelled to Liberia in the midst of the Ebola outbreak to perform critical surgeries. He saved lives and then, becoming ill, survived Ebola.
Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 17, 2014 – WellPoint Foundation has become an AmeriCares Annual Emergency Response Partner to support the global health organization’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and other emergencies worldwide.
With support from AmeriCares, the staff of Ganta Hospital in Liberia will soon have 600 pairs of gloves, 3,000 gowns, 600 pairs of goggles and other critical equipment they need to help stop the spread of the highly infectious, deadly Ebola virus.