The Medical Director of the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, Mr. Jerry Fahnloe Brown, said his hospital has discharged 10 persons infected with the deadly Ebola virus and also disclosed that more will be discharged on Saturday, August 16.
He said the hospital currently has 63 patients at its treatment center. Mr. Brown told President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during a visit to the hospital Tuesday that the about ten patients, who had undergone treatment from Monrovia and surroundings, have already been discharged.
He also disclosed on Tuesday, August 12 that 63 Ebola cases were in an isolation room, while the hospital was awaiting the test results of additional 34 suspected patients.
Charting with President Sirleaf at the ELWA Hospital Compound, he said about three kids and two Physician Assistants were discharged earlier, while two other patients were also discharged on Monday, August 11 after their second test.
He, however, said ELWA was basically managing patients symptomatically- meaning they were being handled with respect to the symptoms they show because “we don’t have any specific drug for the disease for now.”
“And some had been tested initially, but negative; so we need to do a second test before getting them out of the unit. And there are 29 confirmed patients. They had been tested, and tested positive already,” Doctor Brown said.
Among the affected persons are four medical doctors, a couple nurses and people from other places. “We have about six children- ages one year, nine months to 30 years.”
At the moment, the ELWA Hospital needs vehicles, logistics and expansion of the center because suspected Ebola patients were voluntarily reported in from communities due to the awareness and sensitivity being executed, and that the hospital was becoming overwhelmed for space.
Doctors at ELWA Hospital, said ‘beds had to place among others” to enable the hospital accommodates more cases because the number had exceeded their capacity. They said by today, Thursday, they expect to move some patients at the Ebola relocation center still being constructed at the ELWA.
Earlier at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Bushrod Island on Tuesday, Deputy Health Minister Bernice Dahn said five suspected Ebola cases were being held awaiting evaluation.
Montserrado County District 16 Representative Edward Forh also informed President Sirleaf about a grave situation in the St. Paul Bridge community- an apparent reference to ‘two to three dead bodies’ they had to pick up per day.
Though he said infected or suspected people agree to be isolated in their homes with the support of the Ministry of Health, he, however, said “as we speak now, there are two bodies that Red Cross is coming to pick up.”
Representative Forh said the major problem in the area is the relocation of suspects, regarding the fear they harbor upon hearing that they would be “quarantined and isolated.”
But he also complained about too many families dwelling in one house in the already congested community. He said in a five-bed room house, for instance, each room has ten persons, emphasizing that when removing a patient, the Ebola Response Team must also relocate the household right within the same neighborhood.
Already, he said, a district town hall that is being built under the County Development Fund was now being roofed for the purpose of containing the suspected family members and friends of Ebola suspects.
About five days back when the Ministry of Health Team visited the district town hall relocation center, he said, all that was done was to take the statistics of those in closed contacts, allowing them to go right back into their homes where some of them started dying again.
“So, we need to remove them and put them into a place where we can observe them,” he said, soliciting government’s support to develop the relocation center in the district. President Sirleaf immediately mandated Minister Dahn to move in quickly to make use of the district relocation center.