Uniformed American officers are due to open and staff a field clinic for Ebola patients outside the Liberian capital of Monrovia this coming weekend, marking the United States’ latest bid to help bring the regional outbreak under control.
President Barack Obama had previously said none of the roughly 4,000 American troops deployed to Liberia would care for patients suffering from Ebola. But, USA Today reports, 70 uniformed government personnel from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, of the Department of Health and Human Services, will be the first to do so and specifically treat health care workers who contract the deadly virus.
“They have to feel secure that there will be a high level of care provided if they do fall ill of Ebola,” Rear Adm. Scott Giberson, acting U.S. deputy surgeon general, said in the report, adding that the volunteers were among some 1,700 members who had expressed a willingness to be deployed.
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that at least 310 health care workers have died in the West Africa outbreak that has killed more than 4,800 people this year. That same day, Obama announced he would ask Congress for $6.2 million to fight Ebola.