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Ebola Contained In Lofa, MSF Hands Over Activities
MONROVIA, December 11 (LINA)-The international charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has decided to withdraw from Lofa County as a result of the improvement of the Ebola situation in the area.
A press release issued Thursday said since 30 October there has been no more Ebola patients in the Ebola Management Centre (EMC) in Foya.
“The success of MSF’s intervention in northern Liberia can be considered a model of response, benefitting from a comprehensive approach and constant community involvement,” the press release said.
When MSF took over the management of the EMC in Foya in August 2014, the teams were not only faced with an overflowing patient load of up to 130 people a day but also had to deal with the population’s fear, denial and misinformation, as they had never experienced an Ebola outbreak before.
“It became clear that the intervention could not only focus on isolating patients but that MSF needed to take a comprehensive and transparent approach if the virus was to be contained,” the release added.
It said the teams then started to work on all six pillars of Ebola management, including isolation, outreach, safe burials, health promotion, psycho-social support and contact tracing.
“We are convinced that our all-encompassing approach, including open and transparent cooperation with communities, local authorities and partners, has led to this impressive reduction in the number of cases in Lofa County,” says Ettore Mazzanti, MSF Project Coordinator in
“Trust and the understanding of the communities have been very important for the acceptance of our medical activities and, ultimately, in successfully containing the virus. Without understanding and adapting coping behaviors, it is impossible to reach
In the last few months, in preparation for departure, the team started reorganizing the EMC by gradually decreasing bed capacity from 85 to 10 beds and by reducing the number of national and international staff.
The release said MSF also donated Ebola protection kits to health structures and focused on training health staff in the districts of Foya, Kolahun and Vahun in Ebola patient care, including case definition, isolation and supportive care, as well as on protective measures and infection control. In Lofa County, as in the rest of Liberia, the entire health system has collapsed as a result of the epidemic.