community care centers

 {Photo credit: Fred Hartman/MSH}Dr. Logan and two women Ebola survivors at Annex 3.Photo credit: Fred Hartman/MSH

Tuesday, November 4, was my first day back at MSH headquarters since returning from Liberia nearly three weeks ago on October 21. I volunteered to go to Liberia—one of three West African countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak—because MSH has a wealth of experience to offer to help resolve one of the great public health challenges of our time. 

I started my career in smallpox eradication, and through the years have worked on other outbreaks: hemorrhagic fevers, SARS, avian and pandemic influenza, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB).  These diseases were—and are—highly infectious and carry significant mortality if proper infection control procedures are not followed.

 {Photo credit: Ian Sliney/MSH.}"Let's prevent Ebola together" billboard in Liberia.Photo credit: Ian Sliney/MSH.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) hosted an interactive, three-day, online seminar on the West African Ebola outbreak on LeaderNet.org, October 28-30, 2014. Edited summaries from seminar facilitators (MSH Global Technical Lead on Malaria and Communicable Diseases, A. Frederick Hartman, MD, MPH, Days One-Three, and co-authored by Independent Pandemic Planning Advisor, Lisa Stone, Day Two), appear below. You can access seminar archives, including resources for preparedness and response, by joining LeaderNet.org.

Day One (Oct. 28): Mobilizing community-based care

Many thanks to the 240 individuals from more than 50 countries who have signed on to participate in the LeaderNet Ebola seminar so far. I am very impressed with your interest and enthusiasm in discussing, and ultimately controlling, this massive Ebola outbreak.

 {Photo credit: Ian Sliney/MSH}Liberia.Photo credit: Ian Sliney/MSH

Co-host Robin Young interviews Ian Sliney and Arthur Loryoun of Management Sciences for Health (MSH) about MSH's work with Liberia's government and community leaders to rebuild the health system, stop the spread of Ebola, and restore community confidence on today's NPR/WBUR Boston's Here & Now.

Sliney, senior director for health systems strengthening at MSH, says:

The idea of the community care center is to put a triage facility close to a health center that will allow people who think they may have Ebola to come and receive a very rapid diagnosis. Other people who have a fever or symptoms similar to Ebola can also come. There will be a very rapid turnaround of the diagnostic procedures to accelerate treatment for the people who catch this terrible disease.

Loryoun, technical advisor at MSH and a pharmacist, says:

Initially people were very resistant to the idea of opening any form of treatment centers in the [community], for fear that would further spread the virus. People are now beginning to appreciate the effort of setting up of the community care centers.

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