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U.S. Donates Testing Labs for Bong, Island Clinic

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaThe lab is capable of processing about 80 simples a day. It takes just a few hours to get result. Courtesy: Andrea McCoy, U.S. Navy.

U.S. Navy Mobile Ebola Laboratory equipment at Island Clinic ETU

The United States Government, through its Agency for International Development or USAID, has donated some testing labs to Bong County and the Island Clinic in Monrovia.

According to a release issued in Monrovia last weekend, two additional mobile testing labs from the U.S. Government, flown into Liberia last weekend, have already been installed and are up and running at the Ebola Treatment Units at Island Clinic and in Bong County.

The U.S. Navy laboratories- part of the on-going Joint Forces Command-United Assistance, reduce the time needed to determine if a sick person has Ebola from several days to just a few hours, and are capable of processing about 80 samples a day.  Members of a U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit will operate both laboratories. 

“Having a laboratory on site will dramatically improve our ability to provide appropriate care to all of our patients,” Dr. Pranav Shetty, Emergency Medical Coordinator for International Medical Corps (IMC), said.  “The sooner we can confirm patients who are positive (for Ebola), the sooner they can receive specialized care.”

IMC is the organization running the Bong County site. “And the sooner we can identify patients as negative,” Dr. Shetty said, “the sooner they can be discharged from the ETU and return safely to their communities. We welcome the U.S. Navy to our unit in Bong County and thank them for their dedication.”

The mobile testing labs are part of the U.S. efforts to help the Government of Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries contain the Ebola virus, save lives and alleviate human suffering. 

Other U.S. activities include setting up a logistics base to facilitate the flow of U.S. military personnel, supplies and equipment into the affected region, helping to build 17 Ebola treatment units, and training hundreds of health care workers. USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency overseeing the overall U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The U.S. military response, led by Major General Darryl Williams, Commanding General of U.S. Army Africa, is acting in support of the USAID-led Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) by providing expertise in command and control, engineering and logistics.

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