Samaritan’s Purse Doctors Directing Efforts at Ebola Isolation Center in Liberia as Outbreak Spreads

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to spread at a frightening rate, killing hundreds of people with many more now testing positive for the highly contagious virus. As part of the effort to help contain the outbreak, international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse has now assumed responsibility for operating an Ebola isolation center in Liberia. The facility, also known as a case management center, is located in Foya near the border with Guinea—ground zero in Liberia’s battle against this killer virus and the only treatment point in that area as the disease continues to breach the border.

The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea and has now spread to the countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus causes massive internal bleeding and has a mortality rate of up to 90 percent.

Samaritan's Purse has been responding to the outbreak since March and has now intensified efforts by sending additional teams of doctors, nurses and relief experts to Liberia. These medical teams are providing direct clinical care to people infected with the killer virus, not only at the clinic in Foya, but also at a treatment and isolation center at ELWA Hospital just outside Monrovia, Liberia's capital.

But an essential component of the Samaritan's Purse effort is to reach people before they need medical treatment. So far the organization has trained more than 400,000 people in hygiene awareness to help reduce the risk of them catching and spreading the Ebola virus.

"This is the largest outbreak of Ebola since it was first discovered in 1976 and it is the largest outbreak in Western Africa, with cases now showing up in national capital cities," said Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations for Samaritan's Purse. "Along with medical treatment, awareness and education are the keys to containing this outbreak."

Samaritan's Purse aircraft are being used to ship critical supplies and medical personnel. The organization is working closely with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and government health officials.

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization that has been working in Liberia since 2003. The organization partners with local churches and missions to meet the medical, food, water and education needs of people across the country.

Based in Boone, Samaritan's Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by president and CEO Franklin Graham, Samaritan's Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit samaritanspurse.org

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