Firestone Medical Center Discharges Ebola Survivors

18 Ebola Survivors Reunited with Family and Community

HARBEL, Liberia (Oct. 10, 2014) ― Firestone Liberia, Inc. (Firestone), an indirect subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., today announced that the Firestone Medical Center in Duside has discharged 18 Ebola survivors in the last month from the Ebola Treatment Unit. The survivors received intensive care and treatment and range in age from 37 years to eight months old. The Firestone Medical Centre has treated 48 patients who tested positive for Ebola of which 18 survived and have been discharged free of the virus.

Reintegration ceremonies have been hosted for survivors to helped welcome them back into the community. Each survivor was presented with solidarity kits by Firestone which included mattresses, bedding, clothing, bags of rice, vegetable oil and resources for food and other necessities.

The first patient to survive the deadly Ebola virus within the concession area was Madam Jenneh Farsue of Division 28, Cubitts Community. Her reintegration on September 2 was followed by the discharge of five more people on September 9 and seven more on September 19. The most recent reintegration, on October 1, included five survivors.

Speaking at one of the reintegration ceremonies, Dr. Lyndon G. Mabande, medical director of Firestone Health Services, said, “We’ve come to let the communities know that these people are free of the Ebola virus. Welcome them back into your communities and accept them as they were before this disease.” He stressed the continued danger of Ebola and that Liberians should adhere to the safety measures recommended by health authorities and the World Health Organization. He continued, “The disease has the capacity to wipe out 90 percent of persons infected with it.”

Some of the survivors and family members spoke during the ceremony, thanking the hospital staff and Firestone Liberia for its continued support and ongoing work to stop the deadly disease. In particular, many of the survivors noted that, “It is better to go to the hospital as soon as you get sick.” Encouraging signs continue to be seen as a result of Firestone’s education efforts, community outreach programs, quarantine protocols and the care provided at its hospital’s Ebola Treatment Unit.

To help combat the Ebola outbreak, Firestone Liberia established a prevention and education program and containment and treatment protocols for the nearly 80,000 people living within the borders of Firestone Liberia, which includes employees, their dependents and other communities within the property, as well as many more in the surrounding communities. To date, more than 200 individuals have been placed in voluntary quarantine. Through the company’s radio station, Voice of Firestone, workshops, town hall meetings and community and religious leaders, the company has helped with education, awareness and prevention. In addition to the Firestone Medical Center in Duside and its Ebola Treatment Unit, the company’s medical mobile units treat those infected and educate people in the surrounding community about prevention. The company also is working with local government and health officials to help curb the spread of the disease throughout the country. Firestone Liberia is working closely with the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO, among other organizations.

The Bridgestone Group recently announced a one million dollars (USD) donation to critical efforts underway in Liberia and the region to combat the Ebola outbreak. $500,000 will be paid to Samaritan’s Purse by Bridgestone Americas, Inc. for work in Liberia, while Bridgestone Corporation will donate $500,000 to support UNICEF’s efforts in Liberia and Nigeria. Funds are aimed at strengthening efforts to stop the spread of Ebola through public awareness; helping facilitate delivery of in-home care supplies for the sick; enhancing medical treatment; and providing support for children left orphaned due to the epidemic.

Below are a selection of photos from Firestone Liberia’s recent reintegration ceremony. All photos are courtesy of Firestone Liberia.

photo credit: Firestone Natural Rubber Company
Madam Jenneh Farsue, the first Ebola survivor in the concession area, excitedly rejoins her family and friends.

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Community celebrates at the reintegration ceremony and welcomes the survivors home.

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Ebola survivors receive clean bill of health certificate at reintegration ceremony

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Firestone provides Ebola survivors with a solidarity kit when reintegrated into the community. The kits include items such as mattresses, bedding, clothing and food.

About Bridgestone Corporation:
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.

About Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC:
Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC traces its origins back to 1926 when The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company first established a natural rubber production facility in Liberia, West Africa. The company’s Firestone Liberia, Inc. subsidiary operates an 118,000-acre rubber growing and processing facility, employing more than 7,000 employees who harvest and process natural rubber and latex. After processing, the natural rubber (dry rubber and liquid latex) is shipped to the United States. The dry rubber is used by Bridgestone Americas’ tire plants throughout North America in the manufacture of tires. The latex is sold to third party North American manufacturers of dipped goods, adhesives and carpet backing. Firestone is North America’s leading supplier of natural latex concentrate.

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