IN THE NEWS
United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response personnel travel to a variety of locations in Liberia to learn about Operation United Assistance and its efforts in stopping the spread of Ebola. (U.S. Army Africa photos by Sgt. 1st Class Will Patterson)
By Sgt. 1st Class Will Patterson, U.S. Army – JFC - UA Public Affairs
MONROVIA, Liberia – Members of the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response spent the morning of Oct. 24 traveling across Liberia learning about Operation United Assistance and its efforts in stopping the spread of Ebola.
“Everyone has a different mission [or] role here but we are all working to synchronize our efforts to beat this virus,” said Anthony Banbury, special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in charge of UNMEER. “Everything I have seen today can only boost the confidence for future healthcare workers in order to get them here and help in Liberia.”
Banbury and his team visited Barclay Training Center where the 101st Airborne Division is setting-up a headquarters to support UNMEER, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Liberia. From there they flew aboard two U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys to Tubmanburg to view on the ongoing construction of the Ebola Treatment Unit there.
“Getting the senior leaders to actually see what is going on here in Liberia is a great opportunity to see the progress that has taken shape,” said Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division. “The linkage by all the partners helps everyone understand the strategic outlook of the mission.”
After receiving a briefing on the construction of the ETU, the UNMEER team toured the facility amid ongoing construction by Armed Forces of Liberia engineers. Banbury even lent a hand by hammering a few nails as a new structure went up.
"This is for all the Liberians," said Banbury. "This is the most important thing I did all day."
Afterward, the UNMEER teams, escorted by Volesky, flew to Roberts Airfield to see progress being made in constructing the Monrovia Medical Unit nearby.
“This facility is not typically used as an Ebola Treatment Center, but we have configured it to support this environment,” said U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Paul Reed, Chief Medical Officer at the MMU.
The MMU will serve as a treatment facility for any health workers who contract Ebola or are injured while working in Liberia.