British Ebola treatment centre opens in Sierra Leone

The British-built treatment centre opened in Kerry Town, near the Sierra Leone capital Freetown includes 80 beds that will be managed by Save the Children. A further 12 bed centre will be staffed by British Army medics specifically for health care workers and international staff. It is expected the that the 12 beds will expand to 20 in the New Year. An Ebola testing laboratory is also hosted at the centre, and will be run by British scientists. It opened last week and has already doubled the country’s lab capacity.

Funding for the facility was granted by the Department for International Development. The design was overseen by the British Army Royal Engineers. The centre is the first of six to be constructed by Britain in an attempt to control and defeat Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Over 200 clinical staff and additional support assistants are being recruited by Save the Children to help run the treatment centre in Kerry Town. CEO of Save the Children Justin Forsyth, who recently returned from Sierra Leone, said: “The Kerry Town treatment centre is critical to the fight against Ebola.

“On my recent trip I was moved by the impact on children. I met one girl who lost her entire family and then all her possessions when her house was burnt down, leaving her with nothing. She said I am completely alone. We must stand with children like Emma in their hour of need.”

Five other treatment centres at Port Loko, Makeni, Moyamba, and two more centres in Freetown have started construction and will take the number of UK-supported beds to over 700. This will see care provided for up to 8,800 patients over six months.

Read more on this facility from BBC News.