A BOLD STEP OF FAITH

A BOLD STEP OF FAITH

Samaritan’s Purse is treating patients in an Ebola Treatment Centre in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A Deadly Outbreak

Week after week the death toll steadily increased last autumn, sparking panic and terror in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as the Ebola virus disease outbreak became the second deadliest in history.

Samaritan’s Purse had been working in the northeast region of the DRC months prior to the first Ebola cases. We started community awareness campaigns and helped to educate people on Ebola symptoms and how to prevent the infection from spreading.

 

Finally we learned that Ebola had made its way to the area where we’ve operated a country office for eight years. Something radical—a bold step of faith—had to be done quickly to battle the dreaded virus.

Ready to Respond

An Ebola Treatment Centre, part of our Emergency Field Hospital, was transported to Africa in November aboard our DC-8 cargo plane and prepositioned for quick deployment. Yet, an army of people would need to work together to make it operational.

DART member Shelly Kelly has served with Samaritan’s Purse on a number of international deployments.

A Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), comprised of professionals from across our international offices, headed out the day after Christmas.

The DART included medical and non-medical staff who worked hard to set up tents; build patients wards; determine staff lodging; inventory supplies; and manage water, sanitation, and hygiene needs.

Deb Go is a water, sanitation, and hygiene specialist with Samaritan’s Purse.

Our teams were up early in the morning and sometimes worked through the night so that the 18-bed centre would be ready for patients in only about two weeks. The centre can be expanded to 54 beds if needed, and patients are cared for in an isolation unit until lab results indicate whether they have been infected with Ebola.

“The team has been amazing,” said John Troke, operations manager in the DRC. “You have logistics, human resources, finance, and medical—but everyone pitches in. All of our staff did whatever needed to be done, even building the clinic.”

Mumbere Kombi understands the pain and terror of Ebola, as his sister died of the dreaded disease.

The local community also came together to help build the centre, including Mumbere Kombi, whose sister died of Ebola.

“When one has lost a member of their family to Ebola, that is the person who understands well that Ebola is real,” he said. “Thank you for bringing well-equipped people to help us stop this epidemic of Ebola.”

No Fear in Love

As our teams prepared for the centre to open, they diligently trained in infection protection and control and how to don their personal protective equipment. Congolese staff hired from local communities were also trained.

Staff participated in a simulation to help them practice caring for Ebola patients.

They also prepared by praying for the patients who would come to the centre and praying over every bed in the patient wards.

Nurse Regina Randolph spends time praying for the patients who will come to our treatment centre.

“These people are God’s creation and He loves them,” said nurse Emily Way. “We are called to have no fear in love and no fear in following the Lord’s will— relying on Him as our refuge and safety.”

Although the deadly virus has a fatality rate of about 60 percent, supportive care and other interventions can decrease case mortality.

We are called to have no fear in love and no fear in following the Lord’s will— relying on Him as our refuge and safety.”

“You have to remember what God has in mind for us—sharing love, showing compassion, and supporting the family during the whole process,” said Kelly Suter, clinical director.

Clinical director Kelly Suter makes sure everyone is properly donning their personal protective equipment before treating patients.

Every patient who comes to our Ebola Treatment Centre receives expert and compassionate clinical care. Most importantly, they have an opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our teams practice caring for patients during a simulation prior to opening day.

Our Ebola Treatment Centre opened in Komanda on Jan. 17, 2019. Please pray for the eradication of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Pray for God to save lives and to bring many people to saving faith in His Son.

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