Kerry Town Centre : Save the Children admits lack of capacity

Country Director Rob Macgillivray & Interim Director Michael Von BerteleInterim Director of ‘Save the Children’ UK for Ebola, Michael Von Bertele, yesterday told journalist at the Special Court that they are saddened by the criticisms levied on them for their operations at Kerry Town.
The Interim Director said 10 weeks ago, they were approached by the Department for International Development (DfID) to run the Kerry Town, and they made it clear to them that it was new to them, but however, they will try their level best to bring success to the country.
‘We hope with support from WHO and UK National Health Services (NHS) we will be able to operate fully and help infected victims get proper care and hopefully get patients well and free of Ebola.”
He said the centre was opened on the 5th November and because they lacked the capacity, they had to start from scratch, to recruit staff from all over the world, which made them to start with five patients in the first week.
“Four weeks now, we have 40- beds operating because we have nurses from Ministry of Health and 21 medics from the NHS. We are expecting more nurses from MOHS today, as we are on track to get the 80- beds running.”
Michael Von Bertele averred that they have been discharging patients by the day and today Tuesday, they will discharge another two. We are doing all this quietly, as the lab we have is one of the best and we have started testing 150 samples a day and we will continue the upgrading, until it will increase to 300 a day.”
He said they are the only centre that accepts samples at night, so that the result can be ready by morning.
“Currently we have admitted over 70 patients and presently we have 25 children and the youngest is two years old.”
Also the Interim Director averred that they are building a child care centre that was not part of the program, but they have to because there are many children that are vulnerable who need care during and after the Ebola.
“Let me make this very clear to all that Save the Children is up for the fight and we will succeed as we go along.”
The Country Director of Save the Children UK, Rob Macgillivray, in his own remarks said they have never done this kind of program before, so they had to approach it step by step.
‘Ebola is an unwelcome visitor, so we have to drive it out of Africa and the way we will do it is to do it with care and safely. I want to thank the Kerry Town Community as they have provided us with the highest number of employees.”
‘We should always have it in the back of our minds that Ebola is not the only killer disease, as malaria, diarrhea are all killing people, so we must stand shoulder to shoulder with all to win this fight.”
Speaking about the centre for health care workers, he said the British Ministry of Defence is running it and they have treated over 20 patients from all over the country. We also want to acknowledge the support from other NGOs that have been working with us to win the fight, as 25 patients were admitted on Sunday in the centre.”
The Interim Director Michael Von Bertele said they have 250 local staff employed and they are being paid by Save the Children and also their hazard allowances to be paid by them. “We are on track to get all the 80 beds operational by end of the month as they are still employing local and international staff to work in the centre.”
“I want to make it very clear that we have no regret in taking this challenge and we believe that it is in our own interest to work well and get the experience for the future. Also I want to be clear that DfID asked us to run the centre as well as President Koroma, even though they knew we had no experience before, but I want to appeal to all that we are very effective and we will continue to be until Ebola is kicked out of Sierra Leone”.
Tuesday December 09, 2014