MSF Opens Ebola Transit Point in New Kru Town

first_imgMedecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) has opened a transit point on Bushrod Island to help deal with suspected Ebola cases in the area before transferring those testing positive to ETUs and sending patients with other conditions to Redemption and other hospitals for further treatment.The Liberian healthcare system has been seriously impacted by the Ebola epidemic. Many hospitals and clinics are closed, and those that are running turn feverish or vomiting patients away for fear that they have Ebola.”Speaking yesterday during the official opening of the unit, the Swiss Field Coordinator of MSF, Sebastian Stew, said the unit is intended to screen suspected Ebola patients seeking treatment at Redemption Hospital.According to him, the unit is constructed to help the Redemption Hospital avoid dealing with Ebola patients through the screening process and keep suspected Ebola cases away from other patients.“We want the people of New Kru Town to take advantage of this opportunity because this is one of the ways that Ebola can be eradicated from Bushrod Island and Liberia. Patients with Ebola symptoms will be sent from the out-patient department of Redemption Hospital to the Transit Unit to have the screening for Ebola.”The Transit Centre is a small short-stay Ebola Treatment Centre (24-72hrs). It is intended to receive patients with signs and symptoms of Ebola in a safe and protected environment, take care of them while allowing nurses to test the patients to confirm Ebola Virus infection before transferring them by ambulance to the MSF Ebola Treatment Center at ELWA, or any other Ebola Treatment Centre, if they are confirmed as Ebola positive.According to Stew, “Redemption is one of the most important hospitals in Monrovia, providing free care for everyone. New Kru Town is an area that has been severely hit by Ebola and it makes sense to set up the Transit Unit there.He continued, “We are hoping to receive the first patient today and as the Redemption Hospital is open, the unit can help greatly to support the more suspected cases. We have 10 units and will make sure that no one infects the other.  The unit is large enough for each patient to occupy a room or unit.”Mr. Stew further explained that the unit has a team of health promoters and psychosocial workers, who will be the link between the patients and their families and there will be opportunities for the family to come and visit.The medical director of Redemption Hospital, Dr. Mohammed Sankoh, said he was impressed with the unit as it would help to handle suspected Ebola patients before determining further treatment.He explained that the entire Redemption Hospital would soon be open to the public, especially with the opening of new Ebola transit point nearby.“We want to get all the materials disinfected because the hospital was also run as an Ebola holding unit and most of the patients diagnosed were Ebola patients. This transit point is very important as it gave us ample time to reopen the hospital,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Panama detains exCIA operative convicted by Italy of kidnapping

first_imgA former CIA operative who was convicted by an Italian court of kidnapping a Muslim cleric in Milan in 2003 has been detained by authorities in Panama, raising the prospect that he could be extradited, according to Italian news reports.Robert Seldon Lady was among 23 U.S. government employees — most of whom worked for the CIA — who were convicted for their roles in snatching a cleric with suspected ties to al-Qaida off a busy street in Milan and secretly transporting him to Egypt.The 2005 case became a source of embarrassment for the CIA and called attention to the controversial practice known as “extraordinary rendition,” in which terrorism suspects secretly captured in the years following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were delivered to governments suspected of engaging in torture.The CIA declined to comment on Lady’s reported detention, and it was unclear whether he was taken into custody at the behest of the Italian government. Officials at the Italian and Panamanian embassies in Washington declined to comment.Lady and other defendants in the case left Italy before the trial but were convicted in absentia. Lady could face a prison sentence of up to nine years if he is returned to Italy, according to Italian news reports.Lady’s apprehension could create a diplomatic dilemma for the United States, which pressured the Italian government to abandon its prosecution but has never formally acknowledged that many of the defendants were CIA employees.The case comes at a delicate time for the Obama administration, which has been seeking to block attempts by Edward Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor, to seek asylum in Latin America. Snowden has been charged with stealing and then leaking information about U.S. surveillance programs.The target of the Italian rendition was a cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known as Abu Omar. CIA officials had suspected that he was part of a network funneling young Muslim recruits to al-Qaida or other militant groups. He was on his way to a mosque in Milan on Feb. 17, 2003, when he was snatched from a sidewalk, put into a van and subsequently delivered to Egypt, according to Italian court records and media accounts.U.S. intelligence officials involved in the case have said that the agency obtained permission from Italian intelligence to carry out the operation. But an investigation by the country’s independent judiciary identified U.S. operatives through cellphone call records and other data that exposed the agency’s clumsy tradecraft.Lady was not directly involved in the capture of Abu Omar, but the CIA’s base chief in Milan is said to have supervised the plan. Former CIA colleagues said Lady, who spent part of his childhood in Honduras, has been living in Latin America and had served there for the CIA.Italian news services reported that border police in Panama stopped Lady as he entered the country on Wednesday.Lady’s apparent apprehension “is the fault of the U.S. government for not protecting its personnel with diplomatic immunity,” said Mark Zaid, an attorney for Sabrina De Sousa, who was stationed in the U.S. consulate in Milan and convicted by the Italian court. De Sousa has denied that she worked for the CIA.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more