Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Only in Ebola land...

Only in Ebola land is there:

- temperature checkpoints everywhere - at every police checkpoint (~3 -4 on our way from the house to the center), at every restaurant, security guards checking our temperature at the house, and security guards checking our temperature at the center when we arrive and leave.

- possibility of being fined by the police if you don't have isagel/hand sanitizer in your vehicle.  This is checked at the police checkpoints.

- handwashing buckets at public entrances

- the #1 Ebola rule: 'No touch' policy.  In a culture where everyone touches every acquaintance they come in contact with, it's pretty difficult to abide by this.

- rubber boots (or gum boots as the Europeans say) are the footwear worn by everyone at the Ebola center.

- our footwear is sprayed with bleach as we enter and leave the center.

- you sweat an average of 1.5 liters inside the PPE (personal protective equipment) in ~ 1 hour.

- are we not allowed to share drinks or food off of each others plates.

- Ebola songs sung 'Ebola pac an go'...(Ebola pack and go)

- everything is brought to a halt: schools are closed down (primary/secondary/college), organized sports are stopped - no football/soccer, no large party's or meetings at the beach, mining jobs are stopped, road construction is put on hold, markets are largely downscaled,

- Red Cross burial teams presently average around 70 burials per day.

If there's any suspect cases in the community people are suppose to call 117 for safe transport.  One of our survivors, now employed with us was a taxi driver who contracted Ebola from a patient he transported.  When 117 is called a Surveillance officer goes out to the scene to obtain a history and see if the patient meets the criteria for a suspect Ebola case.  If they have a fever with three other symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, weakness, loss of appetite, hiccups, unexplained bleeding) they are transported to an Ebola center as a suspect case for testing.  

Ambulance arrival 

Case numbers are going down!  So awesome!  All the staff keep asking how long I'll be here...I tell them end of May, and by the grace of God Ebola will be gone by then too.

No comments: