Ebola Response Fact Sheet
Liberia - Ebola Outbreak
24 July 2014
A rapidly evolving regional outbreak of the highly contagious Ebola virus disease has claimed 660 lives in West Africa, according to the latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The total number of cases attributed to Ebola has risen to 1,093.
This outbreak began early in 2014 in forested areas of southeastern Guinea and is already unprecedented in terms of geographic scope, as well as the number of infections and deaths. Porous borders between the three affected countries (Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone), weak infrastructure and health care capacity in the area, and the fact that cases have been confirmed in all three national capitals make the situation particularly challenging and complex. The terrifying disease causes massive internal bleeding and generally has a mortality rate of between 60 to 90 percent.
There continues to be an upswing in reported Ebola cases and deaths in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. New cases and deaths related to the disease were also reported in Guinea during the latest WHO reporting period, though the outbreak may be on the decline there. The current crisis in Liberia is considered the nation’s second outbreak of Ebola this year, as a first outbreak beginning in March was declared over in early May. The outbreak in Guinea and Sierra has been ongoing since the start of 2014.
HOW SAMARITAN'S PURSE IS RESPONDING
Samaritan’s Purse has been working in Liberia through our country office for more than a decade. We have been actively and continuously responding to this Ebola outbreak since March with multiplatform education programming. Government and UN agencies have recognized the effectiveness of our awareness campaign in helping to halt the initial Ebola outbreak in Liberia. During this current resurgence, dating from late May, our campaign continues to play a critical role in reducing the probability of disease transmission.
Our national awareness campaign has reached more than 440,000 people with prevention education, a figure greater than 10 percent of Liberia’s total population. Many people remain in fear or denial regarding Ebola. In recent surveys by Samaritan’s Purse, 2,920 of 3,466 Monrovia residents—84 percent—revealed they did not believe Ebola was real.
A team of Samaritan’s Purse medical personnel has been deployed to Liberia and is now providing direct clinical care to those infected with the disease. The team is working with Liberia’s Ministry of Health, U.N. agencies including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other international relief organizations to provide life-saving support for patients at our case management centers in Monrovia and Foya District, Lofa County, along the border with Guinea. Timely supportive care for patients is proven to substantially reduce mortality rates.
Samaritan’s Purse has more than 350 personnel working in Liberia to provide patient care and promote awareness about the spread of this deadly disease. Samaritan’s Purse has deployed a total of 23 personnel to Liberia from overseas locations since June 18. This includes doctors and nurses, as well as experts in logistics and WASH. More personnel are en route and recruitment continues.
Samaritan’s Purse assumed responsibility for the Case Management Center (CMC) in Foya from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) on July 8. The facility has been expanded and can serve as many as 30 patients. There are 12 Ebola patients under care today.
An expanded 20-bed CMC, funded and constructed by Samaritan’s Purse at ELWA Hospital, has now become the consolidated CMC for the greater Monrovia area. All patients and Ebola care staff from JFK Hospital have recently been transferred to this location. There are 14 Ebola patients under care today.
In total, Samaritan’s Purse CMCs have admitted 75 patients, with 34 discharges and 24 deaths.
Samaritan’s Purse is also constructing a new 40-bed facility for Ebola cases in another area on the grounds of ELWA. Once completed, this location will be prepared to receive all Monrovia-area patients.
Samaritan’s Purse has aircraft stationed in country to support this emergency effort. Our aircraft have been utilized to transport cargo and personnel for Liberia’s Ministry of Health, U.N. agencies (WHO, UNICEF), MSF, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in support of the overall response.
Nearly 10 metric tons of equipment and supplies, including protective clothing, medications, and lactated ringers solution, have been shipped to Liberia.
Ways you can help
For the outbreak to be contained and for the protection of our medical personnel and health care workers throughout the region.
For our awareness campaigns to reach men and women with the truth about Ebola and its spread.
For sanitation experts to develop creative solutions to the challenges posed by this outbreak.
For God’s peace to reign in the hearts of people in this region.
Through your financial gifts, you can help us save lives in the Name of Jesus in Liberia and other parts of the world where/when disasters strike. For example, your donation of $46 can educate 100 Liberians about Ebola. As we help disaster victims, we can tell them that we do this because “the love of Christ compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14, NKJV). Donate Here