The NEWS (Monrovia)

9 April 2014

Liberia: 'Away but in Charge of Leadership'

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says though she was out of the country, but was fully in charge of the country's leadership.

Johnson-Sirleaf said while out of Liberia, she was provided regular updates by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare and other technicians engaged in the ongoing Ebola fight.

"From the very time the disease was determined to be in the country, Dr. Gwenigale and his team have got to work; giving information, being able to respond to particular needs and keeping the nation informed fully, on what the situation is... .He has been in touch with me on a daily basis... " Pres. Johnson-Sirleaf said Wednesday during an appreciation visit to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare during the National Taskforce on Ebola virus regular meeting.

She said the Health Ministry team was constantly providing her with the necessary pieces of information about circumstances surrounding the deadly Ebola virus in the country and other parts of the region.

President Johnson-Sirleaf expressed appreciation to partners of the government, including the World Health Organization (WHO), MSF, the United States Government and others for their timely and swift response to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.

She said the timely responses from the partners have so far helped to prevent the virus from rapidly spreading.

The Liberian leader warned Liberians to follow the pieces of advice being provided by the Ministry of Health.

"We know that it is a deadly disease, but effective action is being taken to contain it, to control it and to try it to an end; the cooperation of the entire citizenry is necessary... " Pres. Johnson-Sirleaf said.

The President has come under criticisms in recent days for leaving the country in the wake of the Ebola outbreak

Notable amongst the critics, former Maritime Commissioner Benoni Urey said President Johnson-Sirleaf has no interest in the country and its people simply because she departed the country to participate in the 4th EU-Africa Summit at the time an outbreak of Ebola was reported in Liberia.

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