FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2014
Official photo of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Washington, DC – This week, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid a surprise visit to the SOS Children’s Villages Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia, bringing dinner for the dedicated staff.
Although the SOS Medical Center does not treat Ebola – confirmed cases must be referred to designated Ebola treatment centers – it is one of the few medical facilities in Monrovia that is still able to assist the community with other medical needs. Doctors and nurses at the SOS Medical Center wear full body personal protective equipment (PPE) suits to protect themselves in case of contact with patients infected with Ebola.
"I came to say thank you for your continuous hard work and for staying open throughout the crisis. I have heard a lot of good things about what you are all doing at the SOS Medical Center,” said the President. “We want you to continue the good work. I also came here to find out what you need and I brought something for the staff to eat tonight.”
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at
SOS Children's VIllages Medical Clinic in Monrovia, Liberia
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak has killed 2,288 people
– with the majority of deaths coming from Liberia.
The visit comes weeks after Pannah Saywrayne, an SOS Mother who worked at the SOS Children’s Village in Juah Town, contracted Ebola. It is believed that Saywrayne contracted Ebola when she visited her daughter in Monrovia, who did not realize at the time that she had the virus. Saywrayne did not return to the SOS Village after catching the virus.
“It was a shock for us," said George Kordahi, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Liberia
. “We are devastated by this news and offer our condolences to her extended family and others who were close to her.”
SOS Children’s Villages is present in 134 countries and territories, including Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea – all countries that have been plagued by the Ebola virus.