Due to the decreased number of Ebola cases in Liberia, the international medical organization Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has closed its ELWA 3 Ebola Management Center in Monrovia. The facility is now being prepared for the handover to the Liberian Ministry of Health.
With a capacity of 250 beds at the peak of the outbreak in September-October 2014, ELWA 3 is the largest Ebola treatment centre ever built. The cessation of activities will allow MSF to prepare the structure for the handover to the Liberian Ministry of Health, which will run the centre as a temporary treatment unit.
Currently in Liberia there is only one confirmed Ebola patient but the handover of ELWA3 to the Liberian Ministry of Health does not represent the end of MSF’s engagement in Liberia and against Ebola.
“We know that we have not reached the end of the fight against Ebola in Liberia. Nevertheless we are pleased with the positive results that the country has achieved in turning the tide against the virus. But we remain vigilant with a confirmed case in the country and many contacts to trace and monitor,” says Mariateresa CACCIAPUOTI, MSF Emergency Coordinator in Liberia.
“We must to adapt our operations to the evolution of context,” continues CACCIAPUOTI. “We continue to be vigilant and ready to respond in case the number of Ebola cases rises again. But we also must to reinforce and work on access to medical care for non-Ebola patients. It is crucial to restore the health system.”
MSF’s health promotion and outreach activities will continue. A rapid response team is active and ready to react at national level in case of a resurgence of the virus. Moreover, MSF is presently conducting emergency preparedness training in rapid isolation and treatment of Ebola (RITE) for county health teams including Bomi, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount and Montserrado counties.
MSF officially opened on March 23 a 46 bed paediatric hospital in the municipality of Gardnersville, Monrovia that will increase up to 100 beds.
MSF is supporting 17 health facilities in Monrovia, and training their staff on infections prevention and control. A team is also supporting the pediatric and maternal James Davis Junior Memorial (JDJ Hospital) in Neezoe community, Monrovia.
Since its opening in August 2014 until 10 March, a total of 1917 patients were admitted to ELWA 3, of which 1234 tested positive for Ebola. Of these confirmed patients, a total of 801 died and 512 recovered.