Ebola in West Africa: An Update from the FOCOS Team

As you are aware, West Africa has been affected by the Ebola crisis since March 2014. To date, more than 25,000 have been reported from five West African countries. New cases are being reported daily. Thus far, there have been no confirmed cases in Ghana. However, great care must be taken to ensure the safety of our visitors and residents.

As of September 2014, and throughout the period of the Ebola crisis, all prospective FOCOS volunteers who wish to travel to Ghana are required to obtain and submit to FOCOS an approval from their employer. You must submit documentation or a certificate of approval from your employer to the FOCOS Volunteer Review Committee.  This documentation will be an important requirement for all FOCOS Volunteer applicants.  Some employers have mandated that anyone traveling to West Africa may not return to work for 21 days following their return and many require testing or doctor’s examination prior to returning to work. You must verify with your facility that you will be able to return to work upon your return.

The health and safety of our patients, volunteers and staff is our first priority at FOCOS. The hospital is fully operational with 175 local Ghanaian physicians and staff.  Volunteers may augment staff on a case by case basis.  We will take every precaution to ensure that everyone remains safe.  However, if you choose to volunteer, FOCOS cannot be held liable for any illness contracted while in Ghana.

Volunteers are responsible for providing their own travel and health insurance. If you do not have sufficient coverage; a basic plan must be purchased through an independent travel insurance provider. Please see the attached summary of providers and choose one that you feel will be appropriate for your needs. 

Please refer to the Center for Disease Control travel guidelines at their website:   http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/ebola  or call 1-800-CDC-INFO

For further information regarding the above stated policy, please contact the following:

FOCOS USA Office: 212-308-7732

FOCOS Ghana Office: +233-302-215-901