RI doc helps set up Ebola treatment center

Liberian health workers outside a home of a man that they believed died from the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia, (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A doctor based at Rhode Island Hospital is now on the other side of the Atlantic helping those infected with Ebola.

Dr. Adam Levine, 34, said the situation in Liberia is desperate and hospitals are overwhelmed with Ebola patients. Levine said he hopes his work helps put the country’s crippled health care system back on track.

Liberia has only three Ebola treatment centers with a total capacity of 200 patients.

“It’s my first time responding to an Ebola epidemic, but it’s many people’s first time responding to an Ebola epidemic because this is the first epidemic of this magnitude,” he said. “I’m working with international medical corps to set up an Ebola treatment center in Bong County just north of here. We’re building it in a forest in the middle of nowhere, and hoping to get it operational in a few weeks’ time.”

Levine told Eyewitness News that the challenges are not only the infrastructure of getting the building set up but struggles include getting enough water, supplies, and hiring and training staff. At full capacity, they are hoping to have about 200 additional staff members.

Despite the magnitude of the crisis, Levine said there is a relatively small number of humanitarian workers on the ground.

“There’s a huge hope the international community will step and be able to provide the necessary resources to stop this epidemic,” he said.

The local doctor arrived in Liberia on August 30 and plans to stay about a month, depending on how quickly he’s able to get the new treatment center up and running.

So far, 1,900 people have died from the Ebola virus.

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