Liberia, U.S. build Ebola treatment centers, decrease virus growth rate
By Courtesy photo, Marine Corps Forces Africa
MONROVIA, Liberia- -- The Armed Forces of Liberia and U.S. forces are building Ebola Treatment Units to provide care for critically ill Liberians infected by Ebola.
"Expanding patient care capacity is a critical step to cutting into the logarithmic growth rates in Ebola transmission," said Joseph Siegle, Director of Research at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington D.C.
The two units currently under construction by the AFL in Tubmanburg and Sinje will house up to 100 patients each once completed. The construction of the ETUs by the AFL is part of a larger joint effort with U.S. forces to bring more patient capacity to the Ebola-stricken nation. The Liberian government plans to build up to seventeen of these facilities. Engineers from the Liberian force are also working on road projects to improve access to ETUs following the end of the rainy season that caused roads to flood and mud to build up making the roads impassable.
"The AFL has the constitutional responsibility to respond to natural disasters and engage in other civil works as may be required or directed," said AFL Chief of Staff Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankahn about the AFL's support to their fellow Liberians and government during the current crisis. "Accordingly AFL personnel are working professionally and robustly to assist the government to contain and eradicate the deadly Ebola virus out of Liberia."
Helping the Armed Forces of Liberia are Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Army National Guardsmen part of Operation Onward Liberty, which began more than five years ago. Onward Liberty is a separate, but coordinated effort with Operation United Assistance.
Ebola is responsible for more than 4,000 deaths. With more than 8,400 people infected by the virus in at least 7 countries, the number of deaths is expected to rise, according to the World Health Organization.