For the week of September 16-22, 2014 the data released in the Government of Liberia’s’ (GoL) Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) report included data on Ebola subject testing for the first time.
Data on blood samples originates from the two mobile labs run by the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institute for Health (NIH). The new labs reduce the amount of time it takes to learn if a patient has Ebola from several days to a few hours. Both labs are located in Monrovia, one at ELWA hospital and the other at Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR).
Counties continue to report Ebola incidences differently. Some in terms of new admissions or cases, and others in terms of total admissions or Contacts (a terms used to describe a person who has had contact with an infected person). But reporting the number of suspected and confirmed Ebola deaths remains constant. When viewed over time,this data would suggest that suspected Ebola deaths remain highest in Montserrado County (the country’s most populous county, and seat of the capital, Monrovia).
Early data also seems to suggest that there may be an increase in numbers from other counties such as Lofa, Nimba, and Bong.
Lofa County remains the most consistent in providing statistics, which emanate largely from Foya Case Management Center (CMC) run by Samaritans Purse in Northern Liberia.
Montserrado County is the only county that reports on Contact data with some regularity. Contact data is central to efforts to contain the spread of the virus, and efforts in Montserrado remain in the upper 90 percentile:
In Nimba motorcycles were distributed to Contact Tracers this week to enable more effective data collection in that county. A traditional healer, who claimed to have the cure for Ebola, and his apprentice were amongst the Ebola deaths reported. The County received a donation of an ambulance, although poor road conditions are posing a challenge to the transfer of patients from the county to the hospital in Tapitta. Community training in sensitization and professional operations and holding/treatment center management training have been taking place.
The SDA Cooper Hospital in Monrovia was closed on September 22 following the death of one of its health care workers (suspected to be Ebola) and also the infection of another staff member with the virus. Closure of this hospital reduces the number of Ebola treatment centers in the area from four to just three. Training for health care workers and volunteers continues in Montserrado County. Four new training sites have been selected to host the training of 100 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs).
The Phebe and C.B. Dunbar Hospitals were reopened this week in Bong County after receiving donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). Bong was hit hard by the Ebola outbreak, leaving some of its nurses and other health care workers dead. A new holding center at Gbarnga Football Field is also nearing completing in the county.
In Bomi County an assessment was complete by the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and US Engineers to identify a suitable location for the construction of an Emergency Treatment Unit (ETU) for the Western Region. Orientation on the use of PPEs and case management was conducted for additional staffs at the holding unit, and contact tracing activities in the county are ongoing.
Lead by MOHSW, WHO and the CDS training has begun for Contact Tracing field teams in Sineo County. The County Health Team (CHT) also provided food and psychosocial counselling for all 22 Contacts in Greenville City. District Ebola taskforce were established in Jedepo, Jeadea and Dugbe River districts by the county authorities, and 42 members of the Ebola response team were trained and received rain boots.
The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNIMIL) donated supplies to the Grand Kru County Ebola Response Team. County Health and Social Welfare Teams (CHSWT) have drawn up a plan for health facility based training for health workers, and the selection of a site for the county holding unit is awaiting approval. The county lacks a functional ambulance, and poor road conditions are preventing the delivery of food donated by the World Food Program (WFP).