Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
The deadliest and most widespread Ebola epidemic in history continues to spread in West Africa. In addition to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the virus has now spread to Nigeria. According to the WHO, there are over 4,200 suspected cases and over 2,400 deaths.
Liberia has the highest number of cases and deaths. This strain of the virus is 60% fatal, and there is no vaccine or cure. MTI is utilizing our experience, expertise and presence within Liberia to help contain the virus's deadly spread.
As the situation escalates and the local governments declare states of emergency, our staff in Liberia are ramping up our work to contain the deadly virus. In addition to working in Bomi and Grand Camp Mount Counties, we are expanding our response to Montserrado. MTI is coordinating response activities with the Ministry of Health, who has requested our assistance.
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Currently, MTI has a leading role among the Liberia Non-Governmental Organizations in Monrovia, coordinating Ebola response.
Some of our key initiatives to help control the deadly virus involve:
- Mobilizing community health volunteers to provide Ebola prevention in the community. Sensitization of the community on how the virus spreads is critical to containing the virus. Rumors and misunderstanding in the community abound, with people refusing to identify contacts because they believe white people are bringing the disease or fear they will contract the virus if placed in isolation.
- Providing protection training of health workers. Health workers are afraid to go to work for fear of infection, and non-Ebola related deaths result. MTI is training in the basics of Ebola and how to protect themselves from infection.
- Supporting health workers. MTI staff is providing quality assurance to ensure that health workers are protecting themselves. In doing so, MTI staff will not be exposed to Ebola patients.
- Increasing capacity. MTI will be providing additional staff to support our current Liberian staff.
- Shipping supplies. MTI is sending shipments of Personal Protective Equipment kits (PPEs), gloves and body bags.