© Malin Lager/MSF


Liberian healthcare was brought to its knees by the Ebola outbreak that began in 2014

Despite being a country of historic firsts, Liberia is sadly known for disastrous humanitarian emergencies.

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The West African country, home to just over four million people, is the continent’s oldest republic and the first African country to elect a female head of state.

But, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea, Liberia was pushed to the forefront of the world stage in 2014 as the devastating Ebola outbreak spiralled out of control. The outbreak came at a time when people were just beginning to put the catastrophic civil war behind them.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first began working in Liberia in 1990 in response to the civil war, which killed more than 250,000 people between 1989-2003.

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MSF’s work in Liberia: 2016

The West African Ebola outbreak of 2014–2015 took a severe toll on the Liberian health system, which was already fragile and suffering from inadequate medical infrastructures.

Over 4,800 deaths were reported, including those of 184 healthcare professionals.

Although health services are being progressively restored, important gaps persist, notably in under-funded areas such as specialised paediatric care and mental health.

© Adolphus Mawolo/MSF

In 2015, the Bardnesville Junction Hospital (BJH) was set up in Monrovia, the Liberian capital and the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak.

BJH provided specialised and emergency paediatric care, neonatology services, management of complicated severe malnutrition, onsite training and an Ebola survivor clinic.

The clinic offered medical assistance, including mental health. Further attention was given to strict infection prevention and control measures to enable the continuity of healthcare services in the context of potential Ebola outbreaks.  

Pierre Trobovic discusses his time in ELWA 3, the world's largest Ebola centre, on our Everyday Emergency podcast.


In September 2016, the Liberia Board of Nursery and Midwifery validated MSF’s hospital as a site for clinical skills training.

The first group of nursing students completed their practical training in December.

During the year 2016, 8,200 emergency consultations were carried out and nearly 4,500 patients were admitted to BJH. 



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MSF’s survivor clinic provided care to approximately 600 patients, and conducted an average of 240 consultations per month.

In December, MSF’s patients were transferred to three Ministry of Health centres in Monrovia and the survivor clinic closed. 

Find out more in our International Activity Report

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