As the Program Director for Heart to Heart International (HHI), I have led medical teams to major disasters, organized continuing education for trauma surgeons in China, built laboratories in Haiti and trained laboratory workers on WHO laboratory standards in Papua New Guinea. Not in my wildest dreams or nightmares could I imagine taking medical teams to respond to the biggest Ebola outbreak in history.
The CDC and WHO have estimated that left unchecked, Ebola could infect 1.4 million people by the end of January 2015. It is time for the international medical community to step up and turn the tide in West Africa.
There are not many opportunities to volunteer in an Ebola crisis. Most medical volunteer opportunities simply need a willing heart, a stethoscope, medical supplies and a basic pharmacy. Not so with an Ebola crisis. It is a complicated situation that needs detailed protocols, training, supplies and enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to fill shipping containers. HHI is a 22-year-old medical relief organization built on the premise that volunteers with the right preparation and supplies can change the world. Now is the time that medical volunteers can drastically change the situation in West Africa.
HHI will be running a 70-bed Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Kakata, Liberia. The facility is under construction by the U.S. military and is expected to be completed in time for Nov. 1 opening. We will use the CDC protocols and all volunteers will go through a one-week training with International Medical Corps. HHI is committed to at least one year in Liberia. We need medical volunteers for six-week rotations to adequately staff the facility. Volunteer traveling and living expenses will be covered.
It is your choice. This is your chance to change the world, the opportunity does not happen often. Contact me at Carla.Orner@hearttoheart.org or call 913-909-1504.