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Lab to test Ebola, Lassa fever opens

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaThe Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has established a laboratory in Margibi County at the Liberia Institute of Biomedical Research (LIBR) to test for Ebola and Lassa Fever.

It has also set up case management treatment Centers in Foyah, Lofa County, and ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, according to an update issued by the Ministry on Monday.

It said in addition, experts from US-based Center for Disease Control, MSF, Liberian National Red Cross and WHO are working with various Technical Committees of the National Task Force on Health Emergency in strengthening surveillance, contact tracing, psychosocial support and case management.

They are also involved in community mobilization and sensitization on preventing and containing the spread of the Ebola virus.

Samaritan Purse, in collaboration with the County Health Teams, is conducting awareness in communities, schools and churches in Lofa, Gbarpolu and River Gee counties and the capital, Monrovia.

Other partners, including UNFPA and Plan-Liberia, have printed fliers and posters, including Ebola school-friendly materials for distribution to Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Margibi, and Montserrado counties.

The Communication, Advocacy and Social Mobilization Committee has also developed a communication package targeting health workers to minimize the spread of Ebola infections, build trust, and address fears in handling patients at health facilities.

The following hotlines have been set up where concerned persons can call for further information and provide notice about suspected cases. The hotline numbers are: 0770198517, 0777549805, 0886530260, and 0886549805.

The Ebola virus has claimed 13 lives in the country, including 6 confirmed Ebola deaths, as at April 14, 2014.  Last week, one new suspected case was reported from Bong County. This brings to 26 the cumulative (suspected/probable/confirmed) cases.

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