Liberia and the Ebola Epidemic: Beyond West Point

This is part two of Dr. Mardia Stone's coverage of the Ebloa epidemic and its impact on the people of Liberia.

8-year-old Richmond sits on the wall outside of an Medcins Sans Frontier/Doctors without Borders #ebola treatment unit. He was outside waiting with the people who came in ambulances, but when it was time to go in, only the people in the ambulances were allowed into the center. [Photo credit - Carielle Doe, Producer on Ebola coverage in Liberia;]

After the West Point incident, the government has become more intentional about its security coordination.  In a meeting with security forces, the government decided to lock down communities where several new cases have emerged and continue to emerge at a rapid pace, including counties in central Liberia. 

There are other brewing hotspots.  If the security situation continues to deteriorate, to get out of hand, Monrovia might even be locked down for 7 days, and a house to house search made and sick or suspected cases removed to ETU. That was a consideration by the Justice Minister
On Sunday, August 17, The World Health Organization (WHO) set up the second ETU at JFK, Monrovia’s main referral hospital.  The 44 bed ETU is being run by three Ugandan doctors, ten nurses and physician’s assistants who have expertise in treating Ebola patients.  Medcins Sans Frontier/Doctors without Borders (MSF) now has an MOU with MOH to run the ETU at ELWA, a long established Christian hospital in Monrovia. 

A new 120 bed unit was also opened at ELWA on Sunday as part of that agreement.  The new unit had 59 patients within an hour of opening.  A third 300-400 bed capacity ETU at ELWA is under construction.  Firestone rubber plantation has an ETU, but there are no reports out of that unit at this time.  Lofa County, in the north west of the country and where the first case was diagnosed, has one ETU and had 100 patients as of Sunday, August 17, with many more standing by.