U.S. military C-17s landed at Roberts International Airport over the weekend carrying key pieces of U.S. military equipment to aid in the anti-Ebola fight: two mobile Ebola testing labs and equipment to build the 25-bed field hospital for health care workers.
The mobile labs will be placed at the Ebola Treatment Centers (ETUs) at Island Clinic and in Bong County, and are expected to be operational this week. The labs are a huge step in stopping the spread of Ebola because they reduce the time needed to determine if a patient has Ebola from several days to just a few hours. The labs will be operated by members of a U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit.
The 25-bed hospital arrived as U.S. Seabees broke ground on the hospital site in Margibi County. Originally designed to treat military service members in combat zones, the facility will be staffed by the U.S. Public Health Service and will be used to care for health workers in Liberia.
The 25-bed hospital and mobile testing labs are part of the U.S. effort to help the government of Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries contain the Ebola virus, save lives and alleviate human suffering. Other U.S. activities include setting up a logistics base to facilitate the flow of military personnel, supplies, and equipment into the affected region, helping to build 17 Ebola treatment units, and training for hundreds of health care workers.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. government agency overseeing the overall U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The U.S. military response, led by Major General Darryl Williams, Commanding General of U.S. Army Africa, is acting in support of the USAID-led Disaster Assistance Response Team by providing expertise in command and control, engineering and logistics.