Monrovia — Former Health & Social Welfare Minister, now a Senator, Peter Coleman (Grand Kru County, Congress for Democratic Change) has informed the plenary of the Liberian Senate of the need for the Liberian government to provide US$ 1.2 Million to prevent the spread of Ebola virus in Liberia.
Senator Coleman said: "The process for containing an epidemic is costly and a budget has been drawn up in the tone of one point two million United Sates dollars to contain this because it entails a lot of different things ranging from public awareness to sending the specimen of cases to foreign countries for testing."
He also disclosed that the European Union has committed to help support the 1.2 million United States dollar projections for prevention of the virus which has been confirmed in neighboring Guinea and urged his colleagues to take the first step by providing the first budgetary support to the initiative.
"We will be getting support from the EU in the next few days to help curtail spread of this virus so for us as a government Mr. Pro-Temp and distinguished colleagues of the senate, it is important that some initial funding of this US$ 1.2 million be made available to the Health Ministry from the national budget. Our donors are eager to see what we as a government will do first", he added.
According to Senator Coleman after a meeting amongst the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, local and International Non-Governmental Organizations and health committee of both houses (Senate and House) it was agreed that the government provides the one point two million United States dollars for prevention.
The Grand Kru lawmaker also told his colleagues that at the meeting among stakeholders, it was confirmed that the four persons who died from the disease contracted it from Guinea where they had gone to attend a funeral but no new case has been reported.
Coleman said: "Up until yesterday there were no new cases reported in Liberia. Up to this morning our information also revealed that the situation remains the same. It was also observed that in the area where the cases were discovered a lot of the areas in Guinea in proximity to the border with Liberia practically relied on Liberia for medical attention."
He also told the senate that at the meeting it was said, that an appeal has been made by the World Health Organization (WHO) to the MSF to move closer to the border on the Guinean side to provide medical services for people in that area and treat cases of Ebola to stop them from coming to Liberia for treatment.
Speaking of rumors that a case of the Ebola virus was refereed from Ganta to the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital (JFK) in Monrovia he denied the news and described it as erroneous noting that there is no outbreak of the virus in Nimba County and at no time was a case referred to the JFK as is being reported by some media institutions.
He warned media institutions to be careful how they report on the disease because according to him, any attempt to sensationalize the issue could scare investors from coming to Liberia and also prevent Liberians from entering other countries.