Why are we there?
- Endemic/epidemic disease
- Social violence/health care exclusion
February 12, 2015
MSF is rapidly scaling up its operations in Liberia as the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to be chaotic and entirely inadequate. Since the Ebola outbreak began in March in Guinea, it has claimed at least 9,152 lives (as of February 12th).
Liberia has seen a sharp decline in Ebola cases. Due to the overall improvement of the country’s situation, MSF has progressively reduced its Ebola related activities, and is working today in Monrovia in two facilities: the Redemption Hospital transit center and ELWA 3. However, the counties reporting more contacts may potentially see an increase of cases. The main focus is now on surveillance, infection control and prevention, health promotion, and training activities. Support of non-Ebola health care remains a priority.
The National Institutes of Health and the Liberian government Ebola Vaccine trial (phase II) started on January 31 at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, with priority being given to 600 health staff and population at risk. MSF is not involved in this trial.
In Monrovia, MSF is planning to open a 46 beds pediatric hospital, but its maximum total capacity is expected to increase up to 100 beds.
Liberia: Latest MSF Updates
- "My Life is Torn Apart": Living in the Aftermath of Ebola
- Life After Ebola
- Restoring Public Health Services in Liberia
- Liberia: Rebooting Public Health Services
After more than two decades in Liberia, MSF handed over the last of its programs to the Ministry of Health in 2012
The final program that was handed out provided treatment and counseling for victims of sexual violence in Monrovia. Since this project began in 2010, major emphasis was placed on training Ministry of Health staff to carry out services.
Between January and July, 644 patients received treatment: 12 percent of them were under four-years-of-age, 38 percent were aged between five and 12 years, and 41 percent between 13 and 18 years. Only nine percent were adults. After a gradual handover of responsibilities, MSF withdrew in July.
MSF ran emergency operations in response to the 14 years of civil conflict that raged until 2004. Teams also provided emergency health care for refugees from conflicts in neighboring countries and improved access to health services more generally through the set-up and management of hospital projects in the capital Monrovia, as well as in remote areas.
As the country's conflicts have subsided and emergency phases have passed, one by one these projects have been handed over to the Ministry of Health or to organizations that can take the work forward with a long-term development approach.