Ebola Outbreak Response

October 2014

December 22, 2014

Today GlobalMedic volunteers in Toronto loaded two sea containers bound for Sierra Leone and Libera with hygiene kits. These kits will be used to help families combat the spread of the Ebola virus. Here is a video from the loading day:

October 15, 2014

Today the GlobalMedic team loaded a 40 foot sea container full of Personal Protective Equipment destined for Monrovia, Liberia. This follows a shipment sent last week to Freetown, Sierra Leone. To date, GlobalMedic has sent the following to West Africa to help protect healthcare workers on the front-lines of the Ebola crisis:

· 135,000 Exam Gloves
· 378,800 Pleated Procedure Face Masks
· 293,790 Surgical Masks with N95 Respirators
· 1,350 Tyvek Coveralls
· 84,750 Disposable Isolation Gowns
· 25,632 Splash/Face Shields
· 34,560 Accel Disinfectant Wipes
· 28,000 Containment Bags
· 16 Physician Hospital Packs of Essential Medicines specifically designed for suspected Ebola case management
· 10 16’ by 16’ Isolation Tents
· 16 Hospital Carts

The GlobalMedic team was joined by some distinguished guests at yesterday’s event. Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, met GlobalMedic volunteers and members of the Liberian community in Toronto, observed the loading activities and offered words of encouragement from her own work experiences in Africa. The Honourable Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, Ambassador to Liberia for Canada, the United States and Mexico, was also in attendance and thanked GlobalMedic for the response to the Ebola crisis in his country.

Elly Singh, an eighth grader from the Niagara region was also an important guest. She rode over 500 kilometres on her bike and raised $12,000 dollars for the Ebola response effort. Her contribution funded the purchase and shipping of 34,560 disinfectant wipes that can be used by frontline healthcare workers to quickly and safely clean any surface that is contaminated with bodily fluids.

GlobalMedic will continue to fill the supply chain with additional shipments of PPE to West Africa.

If you are interested in donating to the Ebola response effort, please follow this link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/dmgfglobalmedic/ebola-outbreak-response/.

October 8, 2014

On October 8th, GlobalMedic volunteers along with members from the Sierra Leone community in Toronto, loaded a 40 foot sea freight container full of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which included the following:

326,490 Procedural Face Masks
45,500 Isolation Gowns
13,896 Splash Shields
16 Medical Carts

These items are in desperate need and will be delivered to healthcare workers on the front lines of the struggle to contain the Ebola virus. This PPE will protect these workers and the patients they come in contact with. All items will be distributed throughout the country to our local NGO partners in addition to the government of Sierra Leone. This shipment fills the supply chain that GlobalMedic opened up with Phase 1 of our programming in September. We will continue to ship PPE into Sierra Leone to support frontline workers.

October 6, 2014

Here is a video highlighting Phase 1 of our Ebola response:

September 20, 2014

Today is the first day of the three day shutdown across Sierra Leone. So far there has been calm. According to government sources, 30,000 volunteers are going door to door distributing soap and information on Ebola and setting up community style surveillance units. There is an expectation that they will find a large number of new suspected Ebola cases and take them to holding centres, but no statistics have been made available. 21,000 police and military personnel are being used to make sure people stay in their homes and that order is kept through the entire country.

Yesterday the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to dispatch a UN Medical Mission to West Africa to deal with the Ebola crisis. According to Ban Ki Moon the mission will have five key priorities: stopping infection; treating the sick; ensuring essential services; preserving stability; and preventing future outbreaks. The force is expected to be on the ground by the end of September. This is hopefully news for response efforts, but it still requires financial and political support from UN member states. The United States and Canada both made pledges for the Ebola crisis this week, but more is needed from the global community to make a measurable impact on the spread of this virus.

September 16, 2014

Today the GlobalMedic team arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, using plane, bus and boat to get there. The health checks at the Lungi Airport are more strenuous than Monrovia, but hand washing stations and fever check points are far less prevalent around the city. The focus throughout Freetown is the upcoming country-wide shut down starting at midnight on Thursday and ending 72 hours later on Sunday. Locals are stocking up on food and medicines, waiting in lines a hundred people long to get a bus to their home towns, and cashing out their bank accounts. Sierra Leone is an extraordinarily poor country and many families live hand to mouth, meaning that they will have neither funds nor food to last three days.

With the passing of a new law, it is now illegal to treat Ebola patients at home. There is a drastic shortage of Ebola beds, health personnel, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and essentials medicines throughout many regions of Sierra Leone. In preparation for the shutdown, more Ebola beds are being opened but it will not be enough to keep up with demand. Some facilities are down to 80 pieces of PPE remaining and the average hospital is run down, lacking in basic medical equipment and still damaged from the civil war.

The current death toll from Ebola in Sierra Leone is 562, about 1/3rd of the number of deaths in Liberia, but many believe that it is just a matter of time until it catches up and possibly exceeds other affected nations. The lower fatality rate has lead to a less zealous response to the Ebola threat by both aid workers and locals, and in comparison to Liberia where every aspect of daily life had been impacted by Ebola, Sierra Leone is still struggling to determine its priorities in dealing with the impact.

Tomorrow GlobalMedic is bringing a shipment of isolation tents, PPE and essential medicines to local health partners on the ground, with the hopes that it will be distributed in time to assist health facilities dealing with Ebola patients during the shutdown and with the creation of new treatment centres throughout Tonkolili, Bo and Freetown.

September 15, 2014 - Update 2

Today the GlobalMedic team travelled to the Seventh Day Adventist Cooper Hospital to provide training to local partners and distribute 10 pallets of isolation tents, PPE and essential medicines. ADRA Liberia, Cooper hospital staff and Ministry of Health Liberia were in attendance to learn how to assemble the 16’ by 16’ isolation tents. We practiced assembling the tents three times in secluded area of the hospital grounds then disassembled the existing waiting area, a leaky tarp strung between tree saplings, and installed a brand new isolation tent to triage suspected Ebola cases. The Cooper hospital staff were pleased with their new weather proof work space but even more thankful for their consignment of gloves, masks, gowns, coveralls and containment bags that will keep them safe while they treat their patients. In total, GlobalMedic donated five 16’ by 16’ isolation tents, 60,000 pairs of gloves, 14,000 containment bags, 3,200 isolation gowns, 1,200 coveralls, 36,000 masks and 16 large Physician Travel Packs containing lifesaving medicines that will be used in the case management of Ebola patients.

September 15, 2014

The GlobalMedic team has arrived in Monrovia and despite this crisis being called the “invisible war” in Liberia there are reminders of Ebola everywhere. The first people to greet you off the plane are healthcare workers in white suits who methodically take the temperature of each traveller. The second are military personnel who watch you wash your hands in chlorine. From the airport to the room at our hotel we are required to wash our hands four times, each time standing in line as we wait to run our hands under chlorinated water from a jerry can. Schools have been closed for the last six weeks and an 11 pm curfew is in place for all civilians. Liberians, people known for their elaborate handshakes, now do not touch.

The main Ebola treatment centre in Monrovia is massive and twenty white medical tents glow all night as doctors and nurses fight to save as many lives as they can. It is not enough. In Monrovia, there is a need for 1,200 beds dedicated to Ebola patients. Every day potential cases are turned away because there are no beds. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in short supply in both healthcare and home settings, and healthcare workers and women are being affected disproportionality in this crisis.

GlobalMedic’s shipment of isolation tents, PPE and essential medicines have arrived in country. Tomorrow the team will meet the shipment at a local hospital and work with the Liberian Ministry of Health and ADRA Liberia to determine the neediest facilities in Monrovia where PPE and medicines will be distributed in coming days. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sent to Liberia includes gloves, masks, isolation gowns, coveralls, containment bags for contaminated materials. The Physician Travel Packs (PTPs) containing essential medicines were specifically designed for Ebola case management, including child and adult fever reducers, anti-nauseas and Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS). Isolation tents will be used for screening and treatment of Ebola patients.

If you want to support this program, you can do so by clicking here.

August 26, 2014

GlobalMedic's Rapid Response team is preparing to depart for Liberia and Sierra Leone. The team will be providing essential medicines, isolation shelters and personal protective equipment to medical centres. If you want to support this program, you can do so by clicking here.

August 1, 2014

Communities in western Africa are currently facing a severe Ebola outbreak. To date, the virus has claimed over 700 lives and several countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, are at risk of mass contagion.

In response, GlobalMedic is providing aid that will help treat patients and prevent the further spread of the virus. GlobalMedic will be doing this through the provision of protective personal equipment to health workers such as masks, gloves and gowns. Additionally, GlobalMedic will be deploying 16' x 16' Isolation Shelters that will be used to support hospitals and health clinics, in addition essential medicines.

If you want to support GlobalMedic's work, you can do so here.

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