New Ebola treatment center opens in Sierra Leone

Ebola Outbreak

Sierra Leone’s government said the Ebola outbreak there may have peaked. Information Minister Alpha Kanu said new infections will soon start declining, thanks to new treatment centers. However, Kanu called on the United States to send military aid, while The World Health Organisation warned transmission of this virus remains intense. CCTV America’s Katerina Vittozzi reported from Port Loko, Sierra Leone.

Officials in Sierra Leone hoped a new type of treatment center would help.

Community care centers are a new way to tackle Ebola. In terms of its layout, a community care center is similar to a traditional Ebola treatment unit. It is divided into different zones with regards to the risk presented in that zone. And unlike Ebola treatment units, these centers are built within communities for easier access. They’re smaller and quicker to set up.

“The sick people were living within the community, and the infection rate was increasing, because of people touching their relatives that are sick. But now, the center is here, they are urging themselves and willingly coning to the center, where they are tested whether they are positive or not,” said Duramany Senesie, a community care center monitor from Plan International.

CCCs are designed to be transit points which offer only basic medical care. Patients who test Ebola negative can go home and positive cases get referred to a larger ETUs where they can receive more comprehensive treatment. The first patients arrived on Nov. 10., and had to wait more than a week for their Ebola test results.

“If they would have had their samples taken on that day or the second day they would have been discharged within the shortest possible time. But the results never came back until the 18th. So you see everything happens at a snail’s pace,” said Chief Alfred A. Kumara, the Lunsar town community care center supervisor.

Yusifu Kamara is a government nurse. He received three days training from the ministry of health on how to treat Ebola patients. He received a weekly risk allowance, but he said this is difficult work.

“This is is a battle. It is not easy for us. We are not here for the money. We are here to do the job and get our people to survive,” he said.

There has been concerns about how effective the centers can be.  However,  this center has been welcomed by the community.