The Firestone Medical Center in Duside discharged its first patient from the Ebola Treatment Unit on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. The patient, Madam Jenneh Farsue, the wife of a Firestone Liberia employee, contracted the deadly Ebola virus in July/August.
She was discharged following several weeks of intensive medical care at the Firestone Hospital and after testing negative of the virus. Five more persons were discharged and reintegrated from Isolation into the communities on the 9th of September.
In addition to the hospital and Ebola Treatment Unit, Firestone Liberia also runs a reintegration program to help those returning to the community following isolation or treatment for Ebola.
Speaking at the reintegration program for Mrs. Farsue in Division 28, Cubitts Community, Dr. Lyndon G. Mabande, the Medical Director of the Firestone Health Services, called on residents of the community to interact with Mrs. Farsue as they used to do and accept her back into the community because she is healthy. He described her recovery as “a true success story in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.”
He called on his fellow teammates, residents and the general public to adhere to the preventive measures stipulated by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Mabande further appealed to Liberians to stop the denial syndrome so people can be treated early, a key in the fight against Ebola. “Come to the hospital soon. If you come soon, with all we can put together, you may come home saved,” Dr. Mabande said.
He also commended the medical staff for their work in the fight against this disease. “Let us continue to cooperate. If we work in isolation, we are not going to succeed, and it requires team work,” he told the gathering.
Mrs. Farsue expressed thanks and appreciation to the medical staff for their commitment in the fight against Ebola. She also appealed to residents of her community and the general public to visit the hospital as soon as they feel sick.
“Don’t let the Ebola virus overpower you before they take you to the hospital,” she said. A solidarity kit was later presented to Mrs. Farsue by Firestone Liberia which included a mattress, some bedding, toiletries, some clothing, a bag of rice and 3 gallon container of vegetable oil and cash for food and other necessities.
Following the Ebola outbreak in March, Firestone Liberia conducted a series of workshops and town hall meetings for its employees, the school system and the surrounding communities. Facilitators discussed what the Ebola virus is, symptoms, signs and how to prevent the spread of the virus.
The company’s radio station, Voice of Firestone, continues to air Ebola prevention messages in local dialects commonly spoken by most residents and the surrounding community. Community and religious leaders also work with Firestone Liberia on the educational and awareness campaign.
To help with prevention, the company has instituted compulsory body temperature reading and hand washing at several locations. To adequately respond to the Ebola crisis, the Firestone Medical Center staff and personnel also received specialized training and personal protection equipment.
“Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our employees, their families and neighboring communities,” said Ed Garcia, President and Managing Director, Firestone Liberia.
“We are doing everything to make sure our employees and their families remain safe during this crisis. We are working closely with the Firestone Medical Center team, the government of Liberia and other global health organizations to help our employees and their families get the care they need and deserve.”
In addition, Firestone Liberia and the Firestone Medical Center quickly set up an isolation center for Ebola treatment and set up quarantine centers for case contacts within the property as a means of curbing the spread of the virus. An active contact tracing program was also instituted by Firestone Medical Center.
Additionally, the company’s medical mobile units remain active delivering messages about the Ebola virus and treating sick people within the community. Firestone Liberia continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO in curbing the spread of the virus. The company recently donated a vehicle to the Margibi County Ebola Task Force.