Newest Liberian Ebola treatment centre overwhelmed with cases

Saturday, September 27, 2014
By Paul Martin

Geoffrey York
Saturday, Sep. 27 2014

Clutching a tattered plastic bag of spare clothing, 12-year-old runaway Princess Sheriff trudges back through the heavy steel gates of the Ebola treatment unit. A man in a biohazard suit sprays her bag with disinfectant, then turns the nozzle onto the car that brought her.

The girl, thin and weak, had escaped from the unit on Tuesday, walking for two hours through the city streets to her home after somehow persuading the guards that she had recovered. But she was still sick, and two days later her father took her back.

“I’ve been worrying about her for four days,” said her father, Mohammed Sheriff, an auto mechanic. “I can’t eat.”

Princess is one of 72 children in Liberia’s newest Ebola treatment centre. Less than a week after opening, the 150-bed unit is already overwhelmed with 206 patients, and more are arriving each day. Some lie huddled on the dusty ground outside the gates until they are carried in, while a steady stream of ambulances, sirens blaring, bring more patients.

“We’re trying to squeeze in as many as possible,” said Atai Omoruto, the overworked Ugandan doctor in charge of the centre. “We’re still getting so many patients, every day. We’re using the corridors. Whatever space is available, we’re putting camp beds there.”

The Rest…HERE

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