26 March 2014

Liberia: Lawmakers Concerned About Ebola Virus

Photo: Chevron
A child receives care at the JFK Hospital in Monrovia (file photo).

The recent outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever known as 'Ebola' has claimed the attention of the 53rd National Legislature expressing their willingness to assist the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to tackle the epidemic.

The virus which has slashed away the lives of three persons in Lofa County has no clear history as to how it appears in humans but that the first person gets infected through contact with an infected animal.

Health Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale and Liberia's Chief Medical Official, Dr. Bernice Dahn, told Journalists at the Ministry of Information press briefing on Monday March 24, 2014, that Ebola has no treatment, vaccine but can be prevented.

The two health officials then warned Liberians that if they experience any of the symptoms like sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain or sore throat followed by vomiting, such cases should be instantly reported to the nearest health center.

They also want Liberians to avoid the use of handshakes and kissing because the virus can be contacted through physical means.

At the 20th day sitting yesterday of the lawmakers, former Health Minister, now Senator of Grand Kru County, Dr. Peter Coleman briefed the plenary on the situation and warned that the matter be given due consideration.

Senator Coleman who chairs the Senate Standing Committee on Health, Gender and Children told his colleagues that since the disease has no cure, it is important that government gets involved with sensitization with the entire citizenry on local radio talk shows so that every Liberian can be informed about the danger it posses to human lives.

Other Senators suggested that immediate decision should be taken to close all borders for now since the virus is encountered by physical contacts and handshakes.

They also pledged to engage relevant government agencies to seek funding for the Health Ministry to begin prompt action on the matter.

Maryland County Senator, John Ballout, wants government to provide more soap for students in public schools to begin washing their hands while on campuses.

At the end of the brief discussion on the subject, Bong County Senator, Henry Yeallah proffered a motion that the committee on Health be mandated by plenary to work with Health Ministry officials to tackle the spread of the virus and report periodically to the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, its plenary has also mandated the committee on Health to move in immediately to work with Health authorities to remedy the situation in the country.

More on This
'No Ebola Patients At JFK'

The management of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center says there is no Ebola or suspected Ebola cases at the hospital. see more »

Copyright © 2014 The Inquirer. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.