U.S. Whole-of-Government Effort Aids Frontline Healthcare Workers in the Fight Against Ebola

MONROVIA, Liberia – November 7, 2014 – U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah R. Malac and Rear Admiral Scott F. Giberson joined Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 to mark the inauguration of the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU), a 25-bed field hospital located in Margibi County, Liberia.

The facility, expected to be fully operational and accepting patients in the next several days, is designed to provide care to healthcare workers, both international and Liberian, who may become infected while treating patients with the Ebola virus.

“The U.S. government is deploying more than 950 government personnel to West Africa, making this the largest-ever U.S. government response to a global health crisis,” said Ambassador Malac in her remarks at the event.

“While the MMU represents only one milestone in our ongoing fight against the Ebola virus, it is a vital piece of the puzzle,” she continued. “The addition of the MMU’s 25-bed field hospital is but one component of a broader effort to protect both international and Liberian healthcare workers who have courageously volunteered to treat Ebola patients both in Monrovia and across the country. The need for additional healthcare personnel is critical.”

Constructed by the Department of Defense and staffed by 70 officers of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, the Monrovia Medical Unit represents the continuing momentum of the United States’ whole-of-government effort in the fight against the Ebola virus.

“We’re here to help. We’re here to heal. And above all we’re here to provide hope. We’ve brought the expertise. We’ve brought experts. We’ve brought hope,” Rear Admiral Giberson stated.

Following remarks, the officials were then taken on a tour of the facilities and given to opportunity to speak with many of men and women of the USPHS who will staff the MMU. The healthcare workers underscored the importance of the facility as an integral piece in stopping Ebola at its source.

“I commend you, their medical teams and those health care workers who will come here seeking treatment, for your bravery, professionalism and compassion,” Ambassador Malac concluded.