It feels right to be back in Liberia. Everything at the clinic is intact. Those living in the area threw a wonderful welcome back ceremony as we got to the site. They made us get down from the motorbike at the edge of the 125-acre mission property and then sang and danced with us the whole remainder of the way to the clinic. Most said that they didn’t expect us to return until the outbreak was completely over. The staff did a unbelievable job running the place while we were away. We couldn’t have asked them to do a better job. We are so proud of them for stepping up during really rough conditions and courageously serving the community in such a professional way… they even found the time to plant flowers all the way around the clinic.
We closed the clinic last Monday and Tuesday so that our staff and us could attend training provided by Last Mile Health and Partners In Health. Our staff practiced putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) the Advanced PPE and how to ask proper questions in triage to identify those who could possibly be infected. Then on Wednesday, November 26, we celebrated our 1-year anniversary of the clinic opening. It was a busy day… after the staff saw and treated just over 30 patients we served up food and had a proper celebration with lots of dancing and fun. It’s hard to imagine that over 3,000 patients have been seen, diagnosed and treated over the last 12 months.
In reality, everyone here knows someone who has died during the past 6 months. But, it’s amazing how un-touched our area has been by Ebola. No one on the mission, no one in the surrounding villages, no one living within our district has caught the virus. Its like we have been spared, protected, interceded for. It’s an absolutely wonderful blessing to return to.