On Sunday, August 24th, three patients who tested positive for Ebola were transferred from the EMERGENCY hospital in Goderich to the offical treatment center in Kenema, as required by national guidelines for Sierra Leone.
– EMERGENCY Surgical & Pediatric Center the only functioning hospital in Sierra Leone.
A woman and her 3-year-old twin daughters were admitted to the EMERGENCY hospital in Sierra Leone on Thursday evening with fever and diarrhea. They were immediately recognized as suspected cases, so they were placed in one of our two isolation wards where they were treated with supportive care while awaiting their test results.
– One of two isolation wards EMERGENCY built for treating suspected cases of Ebola.
The mother and the two girls are the first three patients to test positive for Ebola at the EMERGENCY hospital since the Ebola crisis began in Sierra Leone.
“Our staff disinfected the isolation units in line with the increased health and safety protocols. The mattresses and bed linen used during their stay have been burned in the incinerator,” said Luca Rolla, EMERGENCY Program Coordinator in Sierra Leone.
The patients were placed in the isolation wards without passing through the hospital thanks to a separate screening area that we opened at the beginning of the Ebola outbreak. This is where all patients with suspicious symptoms, as well as those who come from areas that are most at risk, are screened and treated.
In recent months, all of EMERGENCY’s over 200 local and international staff members have been trained on the increased health and safety procedures necessary to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.
Even in this extremely difficult situation, all the hospital staff has shown great professionalism and extraordinary dedication to providing patients with quality care.
To date, 881 cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Sierra Leone, 26 in Freetown alone.
During this international public health emergency access to care for those living in or near the capital of city Freetown is very limited and dwindling. This amounts to about half the population of the country, which is roughly three million people, without access to proper healthcare.
“The main government hospital is only partially open and the operating rooms have been closed for more than a month. The public Ola During Children Hospital has been closed for more than a week. Dozens of children suffering from malaria, respiratory infections and malnutrition risk a different kind of crisis, for many kids this is just as deadly as Ebola,” said Luca Rolla.
In order to assist as many children as possible, a few days ago, EMERGENCY converted the guest housing – normally used for relatives of patients – into a pediatric ward, but the beds are already all full as are all the beds at our hospital.
We were able to open our new and expand emergency room last month, despite the many challenges presented by the Ebola crisis.
The EMERGENCY Pediatric Center treats approximately 100-120 children every day, a number, under these circumstances, that will continue to increase. We are spending about $360 a day to implement the increased health and safety protocols necessary to protect our hospital and staff of over 200 people from Ebola.
The EMERGENCY Surgical Center performs approximately 14 life-saving surgeries every day, as we are running the only operating rooms still functioning in Sierra Leone. This number will increase only when we are able to open the third new operating room, which lacks the final $80,000 in funds needed for the remaining equipment.