An emergency shipment of supplies for the deadly Ebola outbreak spreading across West Africa arrived this week at Direct Relief’s partner Wellbody Alliance in the Kono District of Sierra Leone. The arrival coincides with the district’s first case of Ebola, which was confirmed on Tuesday.
“The Direct Relief shipment is absolutely critical, as we are almost out of our existing stock of gloves and gowns,” said Raphael Frankfurter, executive director of Wellbody Alliance.
Their team is sharing the supplies with Koidu Government Hospital, Kenema Hospital, and some remote public clinics on the border with Kailahun, Kenema, and Guinea.
Ebola is highly contagious through infected bodily fluids like sweat, blood, and saliva and remains infectious even after the victim has died, which is why it is important to protect health workers treating infected patients.
According to an update from Wellbody Alliance, hundreds of people have been affected in the bordering districts, so the staff and clinic have been preparing for the disease to come to Kono. The epicenter of the outbreak is approximately 50 miles from Wellbody’s clinic.
Wellbody has implemented strict screening procedures with a protocol for isolating, providing supportive care, and rapidly transferring Ebola patients to designated treatment centers.
“This public health crisis requires sensitive and direct education and advocacy to create a more unified and informed response from the ground-up,” write Wellbody staff.
Additional shipments of essential supplies are currently being prepared for Wellbody Alliance and the Medical Research Center in Sierra Leone as well as Last Mile Health and the Ministry of Health in Liberia.