Aid organised for Sierra Leone in Ebola battle

Marion Maher from Templemore working in Magbenteh Community Hospital (MCH), located on the outskirts of Makeni in Northern Sierra Leone.
A Templemore woman is organising a fundraising event to send a 40ft container of medical supplies to Sierra Leone after spending time working in a hospital in the country last year.

A Templemore woman is organising a fundraising event to send a 40ft container of medical supplies to Sierra Leone after spending time working in a hospital in the country last year.

Marion Maher, who works as a lecturer in radiography in UCD, travelled to Sierra Leone last summer to establish an X-ray service and train staff how to interpret a basic X-ray.However in August this year Marion’s former colleagues contacted her asking for aid after Magbenteh Community Hospital in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone was forced to close its doors due to a lack of resources to treat patients following the Ebola outbreak. Presently seven staff members who Marion had worked with have died from Ebola since the outbreak and Marion says there is unease among staff to return to work due to the lack of specialised protective equipment and sterilisation supplies.

According to WHO, household bleach can reliably remove the Ebola virus however the availability of basic medical supplies such as surgical gloves and bleach are at an all time low. “Staff members contacted us for help. We offered to send money but we were told it is at a stage where it is of no use. They said that basic supplies need to be imported to deal with the crisis and everyday medical operations. They also said that diminishing food supplies have now become a growing issue,” explains Marion.

The hospital is a non-governmental organisation and relies solely on external funding to maintain services. The hospital only began receiving electricity in May 2013, however the power supply is unreliable and often a generator is used to power the hospital.

Presently there is no hot water on site.

Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.