To the whole Hospitaller Family of St John of God
Just over seven months since the Ebola epidemic peaked in West Africa, overwhelming the whole health care system in the stricken countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a death toll of over 10,000 people – the Hospitaller Order has resumed its health care ministry on the behalf of the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The St Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia (Liberia), which opened on November 24, 2014, thanks also to the cooperation of many different organisations, continues to serve the people of Monrovia and its environs with outpatient services and maternity and paediatric inpatient units. The mother-and-child sector is very delicate, and in so much demand in this final phase of the epidemic, and also requires a twofold commitment to protect and manage the patients. And every day, the health care personnel take turns to attend IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) training and refresher courses.
The Mabesseneh Lunsar St John of God Hospital (Sierra Leone), which reopened on January 6, 2015 with the technical and professional support of the IMC (International Medical Corps), the AU (African Union) and Medici con l’Africa Cuamm, as well as a large number of international volunteers, is bringing hope to so many patients who had been waiting for many months to be treated. The outpatient services and the maternity and paediatric inpatient services are also working, together with the Emergency Surgical unit, to which all the small healthcare structures in the surrounding villages refer the patients.
The St John of God Health Centre at Lungi (Sierra Leone) reopened its outpatient units on March 2, 2015 after several weeks of training courses run for the health care personnel and putting in place triage arrangements; the training course was provided by the doctors from Lunsar. Since we are only at the beginning of the resumption of work there, the inflow of patients is still somewhat slow, but the security and safety of the patients and the personnel are guaranteed.
The social commitment deployed by the two facilities in Sierra Leone Leone should be noted after being closed to the public, and now following their reopening. In order to curb the spread of infection, quarantined families have been monitored and provided with drinking water (Granada pure water produced by the hospital), food and medical care. This is a commitment which is still being deployed with the many new families that have been placed in quarantine.
Once again we wholeheartedly thank the many people of goodwill, Associations, NGOs etc, etc for their hard work side-by-side with the Brothers of St John of God to assist the sick and needy people in these countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone.
And a particular word of thanks is due to our Hospitaller Family of St John of God which continues to demonstrate its unfailing support for all these efforts (which we shall continue to need into the future), and which, like our Founder, is so saddened to see the suffering of so many poor people.
Missions and International Cooperation Office
Rome, March 16, 2015