27 January 2015

Ebola is finally declining in Liberia, although gaps remain in infection control and prevention, surveillance, case investigation and contact tracing.
Photo: Yann Libessart

Following the decline of new Ebola cases in Liberia, MSF began decommissioning the oldest section of the Elwa 3 Ebola management centre in Monrovia this week. Elwa 3 remains open and currently has two confirmed patients admitted.

“The outbreak is not over, however the current drop in cases offers the opportunity to downsize and decontaminate the oldest parts of Elwa 3,” says Duncan Bell, MSF Field Coordinator.

The number of beds in Elwa 3 has been reduced from 250 to 60, though this can be increased if needed in future. The waste from the decommissioned oldest section is being fully disinfected and then burned, to prevent re-use and avoid contamination.           

MSF established ELWA 3 - the largest Ebola management center ever built - in August last year as part of its regional response to care for patients and help curb the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. To date, more than 510 patients have recovered from Ebola after receiving medical and psychosocial care at ELWA 3.

Access to medical care for non-Ebola patients is still a major issue due to the collapse public health system.
Photo: Yann Libessart

“I am happy to see part of Elwa 3 being decommissioned but I’ll forever remember these grounds - I lost my daughter here,” recounts Mark Jerry, Ebola survivor and now a member of MSF’s psychosocial team.

In addition to running Ebola management centres, MSF is training local health staff in triage and infection control, and filling gaps in primary healthcare in Monrovia. Between October and December, MSF distributed anti-malarials to nearly 600,000 people in Monrovia to reduce the burden of malaria infections, and will soon open a 100-bed paediatric hospital in the city.

Find out more about MSF in Liberia.