30 Nov 2014

Is British Ebola hospital in Sierra Leone up to the job?

All is not going well at the British government’s Ebola treatment hospital at Kerry Town. The hospital officially opened on 5 November but is still running at only a fraction of its 92-bed capacity.

With those infected with Ebola being turned away from treatment centres nearby, Channel 4 News understands that the Sierra Leone government threatened to intervene last week to increase the pace of admissions at Kerry Town.

Read more: On the Ebola frontline in Sierra Leoner

Save the Children which runs the site on behalf of the Department for International Development wouldn’t confirm that.

However the charity did tells us that they were dealing with “organisational and operational issues.”


An Ebola treatment centre built from scratch by organisations like the MoD and NHS which have no direct experience of the virus was always going to be subject to delays.

The Kerry Town site is also trying to be pioneering in offering a higher standard of clinical care than other existing isolation and treatment facilities.

Read more: On the front line of Britain’s response to Ebola

However the British government has made much of its response to the outbreak both in Sierra Leone and internationally.

With more than 50 new cases of Ebola every day in Sierra Leone in recent days, every extra day of delay is added embarrassment for the UK relief effort.

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