Ebola outbreak calls for IHP assistance

Published: 20 October 2014

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) a total of more than 9200 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in seven affected countries. During the weekend (18-19 October) IHP deployed two cargo aircraft from Arlanda airport, Stockholm, and a team of support staff to assist in the hindrance of further spreading of the deadly disease.

Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States of America have all been affected by cases of Ebola, up to the end of 8 October. As of 19 October 2014 there have been 4555 deaths.

IHP has been requested by WHO to support the response efforts by providing operational support to Liberia and Guinea. IHP has deploy of support service package to Liberia with the overall aim of improving efficient and effective Ebola Response by the humanitarian community, through ensuring safety and well-being of medical and aid personnel. The team consists of staff within professions such as logistics, medical care from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) as well as from the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA).

The IHP support to Liberia consists of a two-fold approach:

- Improved living conditions and enhanced primary health care - the support includes provision of accommodation and logistics support for medical and aid personnel arriving and working in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia. The services includes prefabricated housing, a small infirmary with the objective of ensuring a capacity to treat minor injuries for medical and aid personnel and two isolation cells if Ebola is detected.

- Improved working conditions and enhanced treatment capacity - The second part is the establishment of waiting areas, dressing rooms and offices to reinforce the current five Ebola Treatment Units (ETU). The expected result is to contribute to safe and well-functioning working conditions to protect medical staff and the sustainability of treatment capacity.

The equipment and team member has arrived in Monrovia to start implementing the support. The IHP team leader, Jesper Folkesson (MSB), has been in Monrovia for a few weeks to prepare for the arrival and implementation of the IHP services. “Thanks to the preparations in Monrovia and in Europe, for example pre-deployment training of staff, we can immediately start carrying out our assignment. Our task is to ensure that the medial teams in Liberia has the best possible conditions to work in to provide effective medical care”.

For further information please contact the IHP chairperson.