NOVEMBER 26, 2014 By Samuel Ben Turay
Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) medics, comprising of doctors, public health specialists and nurses at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Centre continue to receive commendation from various dignitaries and the general public as a result of their hard work and commitment in the Ebola fight.
According to head of RSLAF medical team, Dr. Colonel Foday Sahr, standard operating procedures (SOPs) were established for the treatment of Ebola patients in the centre. He said because most Ebola patients are brought to the centre weak and dehydrated due to vomiting, frequent stooling and profuse sweating, they are fed and treated through intravenous means (IV therapy) for the first 72hrs.
He added that even though there is an inherent obligation to care for all patients, the SOPs impose more responsibility on medics to ensure that Ebola patients take their drugs and eat well regularly.
“Medics have the responsibility to ensure that patients and their beddings are always clean. Some of these practices may be lacking in other treatment centres where the aspects of compulsion or obligation may not be enforced. Medics themselves are very careful and meticulous in observing precautionary measures to prevent them from contracting the disease,” he revealed.
Dr. Col. Sahr assured that the RSLAF are committed to the eradication of the disease from the country, while acknowledging the good sentiments expressed by the populace in appreciation of their contribution so far.
He maintained that whilst they continue to demonstrate willingness in serving the nation, they are encouraging the general populace to fully cooperate with them so that the dreadful disease can be eradicated soonest.
The Hastings Treatment Centre (now referred to as PTS 1) initially started with 100 beds, but has been increased to a 124-bed facility. Because of the number of discharged cases being registered, a good number of Ebola patients across the country express the desire to be admitted at the centre.
The construction of another 200-bed treatment centre (to be named PTS 2) by the government is in progress at the Police Training School (PTS) campus, and when completed will be manned exclusively by RSLAF medics.
A total of 200 medics are already undergoing training in readiness to operate the new centre.
The Hastings Treatment Centre has so far discharged the largest number of Ebola patients – 309 – into the community, contributing more than half of the nationwide cumulative total and performing far above treatment centres manned by foreign medics.