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In Photos: Fighting Ebola in the Slums of Monrovia

VICE News visited the Liberian capital to meet health workers and follow a Red Cross team retrieving the bodies of Ebola victims.

by VICE News
Sep 21 2014, 2:50pm

Photo by Tim Freccia

West Point is an impoverished neighborhood in the Liberian capital of Monrovia where more than 75,000 people are packed into a small strip of peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. A lack of clean water and sanitation facilities — the United Nations Environment Program estimates that there are just four public toilets for the entire population — has made public defecation common and long caused the spread of diseases. But where cholera and tuberculosis were once the most deadly afflictions, many fear the situation in West Point could get much worse due to the spread of Ebola.

Ebola has now killed more than 2,600 people across West Africa, and approximately half the deaths have occurred in Liberia. Hospitals are overwhelmed, and the lack of treatment centers in the country is contributing to the unchecked spread of the virus. According to the World Health Organization, Liberia faces an "exponential" increase in Ebola cases in the coming weeks.

VICE News traveled to West Point with an intelligence and tracking team run through an NGO called More Than Me, and followed a Red Cross body retrieval team working all around Monrovia.

A health worker holds a poster warning that Ebola is real, along with a DVD featuring images of Osama Bin Laden and Nelson Mandela, in the West Point area of Monrovia, Liberia. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

An Ebola victim is quarantined in his home in West Point. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

Left to Die: Liberia's Ebola victims have nowhere to turn as treatment centers overflow. Read more here.

A police officer watches over a food distribution center in West Point. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

A group of boys watch as Red Cross body retrieval team members remove a body from a house in Monrovia. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

A Red Cross body retrieval team member prepares his personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering a building to remove the bodies of Ebola victims. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

'We are laying down like dogs': The long wait for Ebola treatment in Liberia. Read more here.

A Red Cross body retrieval team prepares a body bag used to remove the bodies of Ebola victims. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

Bagged bodies lie in the back of a Red Cross body retrieval truck in Monrovia. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

A Red Cross body retrieval team member dons personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering a building to remove the bodies of Ebola victims. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

A community team member of The Ebola-Free West Point Coalition in Monrovia. (Photo by Tim Freccia.)

A man showing serious symptoms of Ebola was sent to the JFK Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, where he was turned away. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

Relatives of Ebola-infected patients wait outside the JFK Ebola treatment center in Monrovia. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

A dying Ebola victim is quarantined in her home in West Point. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

Mapping Ebola outbreaks: area of infection is way bigger than previously thought. Read more here.

A sign lists the "10 Commandments of Ebola" in West Point. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

Katie Meyler runs a non-profit organization called More Than Me in West Point that is focused on education for women. The organization recently launched an initiative called The Ebola-Free West Point Coalition, which sends teams into the community to help identify and and support victims of Ebola. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

A man warns of the reality of Ebola in West Point. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

A child walks past an Ebola victim quarantined in the courthouse in West Point. (Photo by Tim Freccia)

Follow photographer Tim Freccia on Twitter: @timfreccia

Tagged:
africa
VICE News
West Africa
ebola
monrovia
Red Cross
west point
More Than Me
jfk ebola treatment center