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MSF to close operations in Foya

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The French medical charity Medicines Sans Frontiers or Doctors Without Borders has said that the CMC in Foya, Lofa County has not recorded new admissions in the past 10 days, and since 30 October there have been no confirmed Ebola cases. MSF further disclosed that its teams are now reducing CMC capacity from 25 to 10 beds and may eventually close down by end of November.

However, the medical charity is warning Liberians that the fight against Ebola is far from over and the public must remain vigilant. It pointed out that complacency is a real issue as cases are on the rise again in some counties. A MSF update released here detailed that in Voinjama, Lofa County, transit unit, outreach and hygiene promotion activities and health worker training have been handed over to partners.

“The comprehensive package of medical care, outreach activities, psychosocial support, health promotion, contact tracing and other measures has led to a steep decrease in cases in Lofa. There has been a strong acceptance of MSF within the community, and people have significantly changed their behaviors and daily routines to help stop the epidemic.”

MSF said a number of patients in ELWA-3 has dropped as of 18 November, while the total number of confirmed cases were only 18 and continue that there is a decrease in case numbers everywhere else in Monrovia and other parts of the country.

“This is a positive development. but the epidemic is still far from over and we need to remain vigilant. MSF continues to admit new patients: there were 42 admissions last week,” it added.

The charity has expressed concern about poor ambulance and referral systems, community surveillance, safe body management practices, and contact tracing. It explained that an ambulance service has been set up with a dedicated hotline for the public.

The update said distribution of malaria treatment started in Monrovia on 25 October and was well received by the population and by the end of the first round, 100,000 households will have received medication, while the second round of distribution is due to start late November.

“On 19 November, MSF opened a 10-bed triage point at Redemption hospital in New Kru Town, Monrovia. Patients going to the government-run hospital can now be screened for Ebola and referred if needed to a CMC.

Redemption hospital is one of the few hospitals providing care free-of-charge in Monrovia. Until recently, it has been unable to run its normal operations as it was being used as a holding centre for Ebola patients,” MSF reported.

The report concluded that a team has arrived in River Cess to respond to positive cases from the county, including contact tracing with the Center for Disease Control or CDC, safe burials, distribution of protection kits and preparation of a transit centre, among others.

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