Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) has admitted its first patients to a new Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Kissy, an Ebola hotspot on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
With the highest Ebola caseload globally, Sierra Leone’s bed capacity for Ebola treatment remains insufficient to meet the needs of patients, specifically in new hotspots.
Throughout the past few weeks the incidence of Ebola in Kissy has skyrocketed, reaching some of the highest rates in the capital region.
MSF filling 'clear gap'
“We wanted to move close to the community and to the patients to improve access to quality Ebola care. The second component of this centre is targeting maternal cases, pregnant women who are very vulnerable when they get infected with Ebola.
"This is a service where there’s a clear gap in treatment in the capital region. We want to reach out to Ebola-positive or suspected pregnant women to provide both quality Ebola care and quality obstetric care at the centre,” said Marcus Bachmann, Head of Mission for MSF Spain.
Located on the school grounds of Methodist Boys High School, the Kissy ETC will open in a phased approach, starting with 20 beds for Ebola patients, followed by an expansion in bed capacity and opening of a referral centre for Ebola-positive pregnant women by the end of January.
Care for Ebola-suspected pregnant women
Finally, the ETC will open a triage for pregnant women, where Ebola-suspected pregnant women can be evaluated and admitted to the centre. The full capacity of the Kissy ETC and maternity will be 80 beds.
"Opening the Kissy ETC and maternity ETC will be a game-changer in this heavily-affected community. Now patients will be able to access quality Ebola care in their own neighbourhood," says Luis Encinas, Field Coordinator for MSF Spain.