Heart to Heart International a humanitarian group dedicated to expanding global access to healthcare has announced plans to open and operate a 70-bed Treatment Unit in Liberia to help deal with the country’s Ebola epidemic. The facility, now under construction in Kakata, is expected to begin operating next month.Kakata is located about 44 miles northeast of the country’s capital, Monrovia.
“Liberia, at the center of this epidemic, is in desperate need of additional Ebola beds and personnel to care for patients and help bring the outbreak under control. Heart to Heart International will join two other NGOs who are already operating ETUs in Liberia,” HHI CEO Jim Mitchum. “We cannot stand on the sidelines and watch the deadly disease continue to spread.”
So far, Liberia has reported 3,834 Ebola cases, resulting in 2.069 fatalies through through October 3, according to the latest update from WHO (World Health Organization). Some 44% of those cases were reported in the past 21 days.
“What our advance team encountered in Liberia is unlike any health disaster we have ever seen, and we’ve seen many,” commented Dr. Gary Morsch, founder and board chair of HHI, who led the advance team’s visit. “The medical system is overwhelmed by the Ebola epidemic, and every doctor and health official said the biggest need is more Ebola Treatment Units. The world must respond – and urgently – to get control of this outbreak. Heart to Heart International is stepping into that gap, as we hope many other organizations will, to help stop Ebola in West Africa.”
Note: Initial funding for Heart to Heart International’s Ebola Treatment Unit have been provided through contributions from generous organizations,including:The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC); The Building a World of Difference Foundation, the charitable organization of Black & Veatch, a global engineering and construction company that focuses on infrastructure in Energy, Water, and Telecommunications markets, with headquarters based in Overland Park,Kansas.
Reader who would like to donate to Heart to Heart International’s Ebola control efforts can visit hearttoheart.org and click on “Donate” or send contributions to Heart to Heart International, 13250 W. 98th St.,
Lenexa, KS 66215. For corporate or institutional contributions, contact Sherri Zerkel, HHI’s Director of Corporate Relations. In addition to recruiting staff in Liberia, HHI is seeking volunteer doctors and other healthcare personnel for 6-8-week stints to help manage the Ebola Treatment Unit. Volunteers will oversee the strict implementation of explicit protocols developed by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) for isolation and supportive care of Ebola patients, including extensive precautions for the staff. Liberia is hot, humid and tropical, and the challenges of the Ebola battle are great, so volunteers must be physically and mentally fit.