Via MSF: Guinea/Liberia: MSF continues Ebola response. Excerpt:
MSF is deploying more than 60 international staff and 270 Guinean and Liberian staff to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has so far claimed 135 lives according to official numbers. MSF is supporting local health authorities by caring for infected patients and implementing measures to contain the outbreak in three locations in Guinea and two in neighbouring Liberia.
As of mid-April, the official numbers from the health authorities in Guinea are 197 suspected cases, of which 122 have died. Similarly in Liberia, there are 27 suspected cases, of which 13 have died.
Strengthening the capacity to care for patients in Conakry
In a treatment centre inside Donka hospital, MSF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), is currently caring for 16 Ebola patients who are isolated in the centre. New patients arrive on a daily basis, which has prompted MSF to expand the capacity from 30 to 40 beds.
“Our priority is to continue to care for the people infected with the Ebola virus. From an epidemiological view it`s too early to say which way the outbreak is going. For us, every new case is a challenge. We will continue to admit new patients until this outbreak is over”, explains Henry Gray, emergency coordinator for MSF in Guinea.
Several patients have survived and recovered the epidemic after being cared for by MSF medical teams. Ebola has a very high fatality rate, with up to 90% of infected patients dying from the disease.
“When I was told I had the virus, the first thought in my head was – am I going to die? But, thanks to the care I received, every day I felt better. By the grace of God, I survived the disease” says a Guinean patient who prefers to stay anonymous.
Continuation and reopening of activities in southeastern Guinea
MSF restarted activities last week in Macenta, after a few days suspension of activities following demonstrations by a small segment of the local population. MSF continues discussions with the local community to counter misunderstandings concerning the disease, and to ensure that they have the best possible understanding of how it is spread and the measures needed to contain it.
In Gueckedou, activities continue with 26 international staff and 156 Guinean staff who work together to fight the outbreak. MSF’s centre, with a capacity of 20 beds, currently has 11 patients.