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Fear Grips Nurses, Patients After Ebola Outbreak At Redemption Hospital
Date Posted: 02/Jul/2014
 
The Independent and Authoritative Heritage Newspaper has observed low turnout of patients at the Redemption Hospital following the death of a nurse from Ebola at the Hospital.
 
The Redemption Hospital, which is situated in the Borough of New Kru Town on the Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia, is the second largest referral hospital in Liberia, next to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor.
 
It is being run and operated by the Government of Liberia (GOL) on a free of charge basis.
 
Investigation states that patients are no longer seeking medical care at the hospital in their numbers as it used to be due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus that also killed one of the nurses at the hospital.
 
It can be recalled that at least four persons including a nurse identified as Esther Kesselley of the Redemption Hospital died from the virus.
 
Since the outbreak of the virus at the hospital, investigations divulged that patients are no longer willing to be admitted at the hospital for a prolong period of time due to fear of contracting the Ebola virus, also unearthed that most of the patients preferred to be taken to the Out Patients Department (OPD) to seek medical care in order to return home the same day, rather than the In-Patients Department (IPD).
 
Like any other hospital, the OPD at the Redemption Hospital provides short term medical treatment or care to patients while the IPD which comprises of the Internal Care Unit (ICU) and Labor Ward, amongst others, attends to patients that are in critical conditions.
 
Our reporter who toured several departments in the hospital including the Pediatric Ward, IPD, OPD, Delivery Ward, Adult Emergency Room, Dispensary Room, amongst others on Monday, June 30, 2014 observed that most of the nurses were either sitting "quietly or lecturing" as a result of the low turnout of patients. Many of the hospital beds were empty due to the situation. According our reporter, only one patient each was at the Delivery Ward and Emergency Room during his visit at the hospital at about 10:45AM.
 
Our reporter also observed that no patient was admitted in the Pediatric Ward of the hospital. The low turnout of patients has "slow down" medical activities at the second referral hospital in the country.
 
Meanwhile, several nurses have expressed fear over the outbreak of the Ebola virus that killed one of their colleagues at the hospital. The nurses said they have been working in fear because of the "deadly Ebola virus that has no cure." The nurses stated that although the hospital has been "sprayed" by authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, both patients and health workers are "afraid that the virus is still around."
 
"We have been working since the outbreak of Ebola here but the fear is there and you cannot erase that. Working has slow down because the patients are not coming like before. Some of the patients on beds before the outbreak also left," one of the nurses stated.
 
According to them, patients are afraid of being admitted at the hospital. The nurses said some residents of the community are allegedly engage into stigmatizing health workers at the hospital.
 
"Even if we are in our bus passing, they (residents) will be on the road calling us Ebola, Ebola and so, the patients themselves are not coming because they are afraid," another nurse added.
 
Meanwhile, the nurses have called for more awareness to be made to help curtail the spread of Ebola in Liberia. The nurses urged citizens to report cases of persons showing symptoms of the Ebola virus including constant vomiting, fever, amongst others to the hospital.
 
Prior to the outbreak of the Ebola virus, the Redemption Hospital provides free medical treatment to hundreds of patients on a daily basis.
 
Sometimes ago, the administration of the hospital called on the GOL and donor partners to help provide more beds to the hospital to help curtail the influx of patients.
 
But presently, most of the hospital beds are left unoccupied because patients are not seeking medical treatment there.
 
BY OBEDIAH JOHNSON,
Herritage, Liberia

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