M: Good evening, everybody. Despite new promise of aid, international leaders provided disheartening assessments of the current battle against Ebola. The head of the World Bank said the international community—community had "failed miserably" in its initial response. The director of the Center for disease control said the situation reminded him of the early days of the AIDS epidemic. We get our own assessment from one of the few nongovernmental groups treating patients in West Africa. International Medical Corps has built a treatment clinic in Liberia and is constructing other facilities in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. Its president and CEO, Mary Johnson, joins me now. Thank you for joining us.
W: Thank you, Jack.
M: How many beds, how many facilities, how many people would you say that you're engaged in treating now?
W: OK, So, in Liberia, International Medical Corps opened up a 70-bed hospital—or actually we call it a treatment unit. We opened that up in mid-September. We are scaling up and we will be opening up another treatment unit in Sierra Leone. In Liberia, we have about 200 people working in this treatment unit, trying to contain it, as well as treating people who have Ebola, With the hopes that they will recover, and they are recovering when they receive treatment.
M: Do you have any sense that the progress of this disease is being—is slowing?
W: Well, let me say that it's clear that efforts, like ours' and other organization's, are working. When there are treatment efforts, when there are health care workers to treat patients as they come in—I mean, our first patients that arrived to our treatment unit, they died at the doorstep. But now we see that patients are recovering, and they are returning back to their families. So any efforts around treatment and containment are working. The problem and the challenge is that there are just not enough operational efforts on the ground. That's the challenge.
M: Is that because a lack of international action or nongovernmental action, or is it because the infrastructure in these communities is so difficult that even if you sent them 10 pop-up hospitals, they couldn't build them?
W: OK. Well, it's a number of factors. One certainly, the health care infrastructure are very weak in West Africa, under-resourced. They don't have enough health workers. That's one thing. The second thing is the spread wasn't contained more quickly some months ago. International donors are stepping up. In fact, our treatment unit in Liberia was made possible from a grant from US AID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. It took 5 million to open that up and about a million a month. So, part of it is that the resources need to be there, but also people are really afraid. They are afraid to provide treatment because they also need to keep their own health workers safe. And so one of the things that we have done is we have said to other community health people as well as other international NGOs, we will provide case management protocol training. We will train their workers so that they can open up more treatment facilities. The problem we have now is that the disease and the outbreak is being—is outpacing the operational efforts on the ground. There are a lot of plans in place, by the way, to change that, and we're still within that window.
M: Well, Mary, thank you very much for staying with us today.
W: You're welcome.
Questions 1 to 5 are based on what you have just heard.
Q1: What is international leaders' assessment of the current battle against Ebola?
Q2: How many people are now working in the treatment unit in Liberia?
Q3: According to Mary, what is the challenge in the battle against Ebola?
Q4: Why do health workers need case management protocol training?
Q5: What does this interview mainly talk about?