First Ebola Treatment Unit for Local Health Workers Arrives in Sierra Leone

Direct Relief delivered two 10-bed medical tents specifically for local health staff in Sierra Leone

Dec 23, 2014, 15:20 ET from Direct Relief

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to urgent requests from the Deputy Minister of Health and the Junior Doctors' Association of Sierra Leone, Direct Relief delivered two 10-bed medical tents to Sierra Leone for the treatment of local health workers who contract Ebola while fighting the outbreak.

While a new dedicated Ebola care center was constructed for foreign health care workers who may contract the Ebola virus, the facility is not available for local Sierra Leonean health workers.

With Sierra Leone experiencing roughly 100 new cases of Ebola each day, the newly arrived tents will serve as a dedicated unit for local health workers in need of care. Each tent is 500 square feet and comes with a lighting system, air conditioning, privacy screens, air filtration systems, and portable beds. The sanitation system will be set up by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Medical Research Centre.

To date, 11 of the 12 Sierra Leonean doctors to contract the virus have died. The most recent, Dr. Victor Willoughby, died last week after contracting the virus from a patient. According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak has claimed the lives of 365 health care workers.

Direct Relief's Response

Direct Relief, in coordination with partner agencies, has sent 29 emergency shipments carrying 172 tons of medical aid to more than 1,000 hospitals and clinics since the outbreak began.

In the past two weeks, Direct Relief has delivered two shipments of medical resources to Sierra Leone. The first, sent to the Medical Research Centre, included basic antibiotics, antifungals, protective masks, and bed sheets. The second, shipped to Partners in Health in Sierra Leone, contained 3,000 coveralls, vitamins, IV solutions, soap, and face shields.

An additional delivery of requested medicines and supplies arrived this week in Liberia for Africare, Last Mile Health, and Christian Aid Ministries.

About Direct Relief
Direct Relief is a leading medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and in 70 countries, and is the only U.S. nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) © accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The organization has been among the world's largest medical suppliers to West Africa in response to the Ebola epidemic, to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, and to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Direct Relief has top charity ratings, including four-stars from Charity Navigator and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief received the 2014 CECP Directors' Award, the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping, and the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. For more information visit

CONTACT: Tony Morain,  (530) 574-5707,

Photo -

SOURCE Direct Relief