Treatment Transportation & Resource Distribution
Getting People to Treatment
Before people understood the risks of transporting suspected Ebola patients, motorcycles, taxis, or hammocks were often used. Journeys to a clinic or ETU could take hours.
Without enough ambulances, responders converted pick-up trucks and other vehicles. Without strict protocols, drivers and undiagnosed passengers risked exposure to Ebola. Furthermore, many people were unfamiliar with ambulances, resulting in fear and skepticism.
CDC and partners worked to develop proper protocols for ambulances, including disinfection procedures and the wearing of PPE by drivers and attendants. Health communicators worked to educate people about why they should use an ambulance, demystifying the process.
Food and Supply Distribution
When families and communities are quarantined—whether voluntarily or not—it is critical that they are provided adequate food and supplies. Otherwise, people may be provoked into social unrest or into breaking the quarantine. During the Ebola epidemic, the World Food Programme was a leader in distributing food throughout the region.
Coordinated by the World Food Programme, General Food Distribution (GFD) to communities was organized in a way that minimized the chance of infection. The food rations were sufficient for one month.
In order to address skepticism and fear about ambulance services, CDC, WHO, UNICEF and other partners staged public ambulance demonstrations. The following graphic explains why ambulance teams wear PPE, and how chlorine is used to clean ambulances. Chlorine was used extensively as a disinfectant to kill the Ebola virus.
Dr. Sophia Nur describes using ambulances in communities.