Samaritan’s Purse Opens Ebola Treatment Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo

BOONE, N.C., Jan. 17, 2019

Samaritan’s Purse is once again on the front lines battling the latest outbreak of the deadly and highly contagious Ebola virus. Today the international Christian relief organization opened a 20-bed Ebola treatment center in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) community of Komanda, an area that has seen a recent surge of Ebola cases.

Patients arriving at the Ebola treatment center will be cared for in an isolation unit until lab results are complete. The treatment center can be expanded to 60 beds if needed.

“Ebola is a deadly and vicious virus that has already killed hundreds in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. “We are on the ground doing all we can to help fight this Ebola outbreak. Please pray for everyone affected.”

Samaritan’s Purse has been combating Ebola in the DRC since August when the Ministry of Health officially declared the outbreak. In addition to prepositioning the Ebola treatment center for quick deployment, the North Carolina-based organization—which has been operating in the country for more than eight years—has provided personal protective equipment, and conducted infection prevention and control trainings at 20 health centers. Samaritan’s Purse is also constructing isolation units at five of the health centers.

Samaritan’s Purse has 40 medical and nonmedical staff on the ground responding to what has now become the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The staff is providing clinical care as well as public education campaigns focused on awareness and prevention.

Media Opportunities

  • Interview Dr. Elliott Tenpenny, on the ground in the DRC and director of the international health unit for Samaritan’s Purse.
  • Interview Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations for Samaritan’s Purse, who led the organization’s efforts to treat and prevent Ebola during the massive outbreak in Liberia in 2014. Isaacs also led the effort to evacuate Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol.
  • Interview Brock Kreitzburg, Ebola response manager and director of the international disaster response unit for Samaritan’s Purse.
  • Download high-res photos of the Ebola treatment center in the DRC.
  • Download broadcast-quality b-roll of infection prevention and control trainings, and construction of the Ebola treatment center.

During the height of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia in 2014, Samaritan’s Purse operated an Ebola treatment center—giving hands-on patient care—and combatted infection rates by providing hygiene training and prevention education to affected communities. Through a massive public education campaign, which included thousands of church leaders, Samaritan’s Purse provided potentially life-saving information to more than 1.6 million people.

Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by President and CEO Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org.