We began working in Sierra Leone in 2001 to help a country that had just emerged from a very bloody civil war.
We’ve treated women, children and men—the victims of the war. We’ve extended our field of work over the years, opening a Pediatric Center and becoming the point of reference for surgical cases for the whole country.
Last summer we saw the onslaught of Ebola. It was the worst epidemic of the virus ever recorded and brought the country to its knees.
We did everything we could to keep the virus out of our hospital and carry on treating both children and adults, while all the other hospitals of Sierra Leone were closing because of the fear of contagion.
We opened the first Ebola Treatment Center in Lakka, and then another one in Goderich; the latter with 100 beds and top quality facilities. It has the only Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for Ebola patients in the whole of western Africa. We also set up an Ebola First Aid Post in Waterloo, a refugee camp where 22,000 people are crowded into decrepit shacks.
It was a hard, trying time, but we didn’t stop even just for a moment: our work fighting Ebola was too important to let fear hold us back.
Now, after months of battling against the virus, it looks like the most difficult part is behind us. The number of new cases continues to fall: yesterday there were only three—an entirely different situation compared with the peaks of a hundred cases a day in recent months. Before the epidemic can be officially declared as being over, 42 consecutive days have to pass without any new cases: we’re hopeful this will happen, and that the end of this emergency is finally in sight. Until then though, we won’t be lowering our guard.
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