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MSF: more beds, limited patients

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaWeeks after the aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders began rejecting Ebola patients here due to lack of capacity, MSF has made a U-turn, saying, it has a capacity for 200 patients, with several empty beds.

It did not say the emptiness of the bids were due to a drop in Ebola patients, but rather blamed ambulances for being slow in picking up suspected Ebola patients from communities to the center. The agency had rejected hundreds of patients on grounds that its 300-bed units at ELWA were overstretched.

But addressing a press conference Monday, 29 October at the MSF Ebola Treatment Center at ELWA 3 in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, Laurence Sailly, Emergency Coordinator, said that the MSF center at ELWA has been opened since August 18, 2014, and that it has discharged 192 patients or 40 percent of inmates there.

She said last week, the center had 120 beds which has increased to 200, fifty of them vacant but ambulances were not taking patients there. The issue of empty beds at the MSF ETU comes at the time the government has begun erecting more ETU’s and the arrival of 3000 US soldiers to build same.

Experts have predicted that the number of Ebola patients could rise to 10,000, here by November 2, if stringent measures are not taken to curb the virus. Assistant medical team leader, Andrew Mambu, said MSF has put in place measures to help Liberians engage in self-precaution to eradicate the disease.

Manbu said MSF has trained 400 community health volunteers to carry out door-to- door distribution of health kits across Monrovia and sensitize residents how to prevent Ebola and what to do if a person falls ill.

He explained that the aid charity is also distributing 13.2 disinfected kits in various communities, including the Borough of New Kru Town on Bushrod Island, which would enable them to administer First Aid before reaching the hospital. He also noted that MSF has in its employ 617 Liberians and 62 expatriates as well as cared for 858 patients since the establishment of the center at ELWA 3.

The assistant medical team leader said it is true that Ebola has no  cure, but MSF has discharged 192 patients, detailing that treatments are administered based on patients’ specific complaints such as headache and vomiting.

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