By Courtney Beckwith - August 15, 2014

Cooper Adventist Hospital in Liberia is still struggling to operate with the Ebola outbreak that is continuing to spread throughout West Africa.

According to the CDC, this is one of the largest Ebola outbreaks ever recorded and it is the first one to infect West Africa. Since the initial outbreak, Liberia has reported more than 830 suspected and confirmed cases, 466 suspected case deaths, and 200 laboratory confirmed cases.

The spread is caused by direct contact with bodily fluids of someone infected with the Ebola virus as well as objects contaminated with the virus or infected animals. These first two are the biggest concern in the hospital setting and that is why the staff at Cooper take this outbreak so seriously.

Operating as an Ebola free zone, they are currently screening patients prior to letting them enter the hospital, and once they have been cleared, they still continue to use extreme caution. Gloves, masks, full body gowns. These are all just a normal part of the wardrobe they wear now in order to maintain a certain level of safety when working with the patients.  For those they encounter that show the symptoms of Ebola, they are then sent to ELWA hospital where they can be isolated and tested without contaminating other patients.

Gillian Seton, MD, is currently serving as the general surgeon at Cooper and has been communicating the hospitals needs to AHI over the past few months. One of those needs was additional staffing to help her in working at the hospital.

James Appel, MD, was serving at Abougoudam Adventist Hospital in Chad and when asked, made the decision to join Seton at Cooper. He arrived at the hospital Aug. 13 and from reports has been busy ever since.

Seton remarked that Appel had already served as a great blessing to the hospital but in addition to him, there is still a need for additional help. They currently need more training, more midwives, and even an anesthesiologist.

With Ebola continuing to spread throughout West Africa, Cooper is in need of outside help. The hospital is limited in supplies and equipment but they are also in need of financial donations. To help during this crisis, click “Ebola Crisis” to donate.