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November 5, 2014

UK opens new Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone

A new British Ebola treatment facility has opened in Kerry Town, near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, as part of efforts to assist in tackling the unprecedented epidemic.

Ebola

A new British Ebola treatment facility has opened in Kerry Town, near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown, as part of efforts to assist in tackling the unprecedented epidemic.

The new Kerry Town facility includes a 80-bed treatment centre, managed by Save the Children charity and a 12-bed centre staffed by British Army medics.

Intended to specifically monitor health care workers and international staff responding to the Ebola crisis, plans are currently underway to expand the 12-bed facility to a 20-bed unit in 2015.

The Department for International Development provided funds to construct the facility, while British Army Royal Engineers designed and developed the project.

According to the UK Government, the treatment facility is the first of six centres to be built by Britain to control Ebola in the country.

"Plans are currently underway to expand the 12-bed facility to a 20-bed unit in 2015."

The Department for International Development secretary Justine Greening said: "Sierra Leone does not have enough hospital beds to cope with the scale of the Ebola crisis. Patients are being turned away from hospitals, reducing their chance of survival and allowing the disease to spread.

"That is why British Army Engineers together with Sierra Leonean construction workers have been working round the clock for the last eight weeks to get Kerry Town built."

Construction has started on five other treatment facilities in Port Loko, Makeni, Moyamba, and two more in Freetown. The UK-supported beds will reach 700, once these facilities are operational.

UK’s £230m Ebola response package includes funding for burial teams to increase capacity and the roll out of up to 200 new community care centres.


Image: British Army Engineers and Sierra Leonean construction workers built the centre. Photo: courtesy of Rob Holden Photography/DFID/Save the Children.

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