ADRA decontaminates homes, prevents spread of Ebola, Monday, January 26, 2015

Theophilus Kabba and Hassan Karara after a disinfection exercise in Joe Town, Waterloo. Photo by Emmanuel Cole.

ADRA staff, Theophilus Kabba and Hassan Karara, after a disinfection exercise in Joe Town, Waterloo. Photo by Emmanuel Cole.

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE— ADRA Sierra Leone is managing a decontamination center and deploying teams to the homes of Ebola victims to decontaminate exposed surfaces and prevent further spread of the virus.

ADRA Sierra Leone has decontaminated more than 988 homes since November 2014.

The Sierra Leone National Ebola Response Center (NERC) operates a hotline for the sick and relays information to the decontamination center that mobilizes teams to the homes. If needed, the center can first send an ambulance to pick up bodies or evacuate patients to designated Ebola treatment centers. ADRA Sierra Leone is running this program in conjunction with non-governmental organization Plan Sierra Leone.

Twelve teams of five have two disinfectors, two sprayers, and one driver. The disinfectors enter houses, spray down walls and surfaces, and remove infected materials. Sprayers wear gloves, a mask, rubber boots, and a backpack of chlorine solution to spray down the disinfectors once the job is finished. All team members wear personal protective equipment, and infected materials such as mattresses, bedding, blankets or mosquito nets are taken to a designated dumpsite run by ADRA staff and British and Sierra Leone military personnel.

ADRA Sierra Leone is also replacing items that have been removed with new ones.

The Ebola virus, easily spread through direct contact with body fluids of an infected person, can also be transmitted through contact with infected bedding, clothing, or surfaces. More than 8,641 reported people have died from the Ebola virus since the outbreak began last spring, including 3,145 in Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International, is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For 30 years, ADRA’s mission has been to follow Christ’s example of serving, partnering with, and being a voice for those in need. ADRA works in more than 130 countries providing community development and emergency management.