Ebola Clinics in Liberia Are So Full They’re Turning People Away

Sunday, September 28, 2014
By Paul Martin

RYOT.org
Sept. 28, 2014

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Doctors are in short supply. So are beds for patients. Six months into the world’s worst-ever Ebola outbreak, and the first to happen in an unprepared West Africa, the gap between what has been sent by other countries and private groups and what is needed is huge.

Even as countries try to marshal more resources, those needs threaten to become much greater, and possibly even insurmountable.

Fourteen-year-old D.J. Mulbah was taken by his mother and grandmother on Saturday in desperate pursuit of a coveted bed at the Ebola clinic run by Doctors Without Borders in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. Too weak to stand, he was put into a taxi with his backpack and a bucket for vomit. Now he lay on the dirt beside the worried women.

“He’s been sick for a week with a runny stomach,” said his mother, wiping the sweat off the boy’s brow with her bare hands. “We tried calling an ambulance days ago but nobody ever came.”

Beds are filling up as fast as clinics can be built. Ambulance sirens blare through standstill traffic. Often there is nowhere to take the sick except to “holding centers” where they await a bed at an Ebola treatment facility.

By 8 a.m. a dozen people who likely have Ebola are crouching and sitting on the ground outside the padlocked metal gates of a facility with a capacity of 160 patients. Soon a triage nurse approaches, her voice muffled through a surgical mask covered by a plastic face shield. The clinic will take the boy. D.J. manages a faint smile. Seven of the 30 beds made available Saturday morning were vacated by survivors. The rest had died.

The Rest…HERE

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