Save the Children Opens First Ebola Community Care Center in Liberia
Save the Children opens its first Community Care Center (CCC) in Liberia, to provide rapid assessments of suspected Ebola patients close to their community.
The CCC is a community-based approach that aims to provide a rapid way of isolating and treating patients suspected of having Ebola, while offering families and communities the opportunity to remain close to them, and reducing the trauma of family separation. It is also hoped that by acting as focal points for those displaying symptoms of Ebola, such centers will help to reopen local healthcare facilities that have been forced to close. The Center, located in Margibi County, consists of 30 beds, with separate triage sections for suspected and confirmed Ebola cases.
“Some people in Liberia are still dying at home without seeking treatment,” says Greg Ramm, Country Director in Liberia for Save the Children. “The Community Care Centers will help patients be assessed quickly, isolated, and tested for Ebola. This will lessen the chance that they infect others, whilst also ensuring them a basic level of care before they are either transferred to an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) — if they test positive for Ebola – or referred to a local healthcare facility if they test negative.”
The CCC is designed in a way that allows visitors to see and speak to patients and will help to demystify Ebola for anyone who is wary of seeking medical help. It also offers the opportunity to train the communities and families of those infected on how to care for their loved ones in a safe way while reducing the stigma surrounding Ebola. Ideally, Ebola survivors, who may have immunity to the disease, will be engaged in routine activities at the CCC and be a valuable source of support for patients, having experienced the impact of the virus first-hand.
Although a significant undertaking, the CCC is comparatively quicker and easier to get up and running. This approach is being replicated by other organizations in line with the Liberian Government’s support for the initiative. The Liberian government has embraced the idea and other organizations have embarked on building 65 CCCs across the country, in areas of most need, to help combat the virus. Save the Children plans to build up to ten Community Care Centers (CCCs) in Margibi.
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