Heritage (Monrovia)

27 June 2014

Liberia: Churches Are Not Hospital for Curing Ebola - Chief Medical Officer Warns

Liberia's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bernice Dahn, has warned churches in the country that are keeping people infected with the Ebola virus to desist immediately.

Dr. Dahn pointed out that people infected of the virus are being kept in door by churches on ground that they (patient) can be healed through prayer.

According to her, since the outbreak of the virus, many churches have considered the epidemic to be more spiritual rather than being medical.

The Liberia's Chief Medical Officer made these comments on Thursday, June 26, 2014 when the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare received some medical equipment for Ebola response from the Government of the United States of America (USA) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The equipment were presented to the WHO, which in turn presented it to the Ministry of Health.

Speaking further, Dr. Dahn disclosed that three persons suspected of the Ebola virus in the Borough of New Kru Town died in a church where they had gone for prayer.

But she fell short to state the name of the church in which the patients died.

She pointed out that the condition is deteriorating due to the refusal of Liberians to accept about the existence of the disease here.

"We must stop keeping people suspected of Ebola in our churches on ground that we can heal them. We are begging our pastors. The churches are not hospital. We need to take a stance to prevent the rapid spread of the disease," she added.

Speaking briefly, the Mission Director of USAID-Liberia, Mr. John Mark Winfield, said the donation is intended to help Liberia in its Ebola response.

For his part, the Country Representative of WHO, Dr. Nester Ndayiminje, lauded the United States government for its kind gesture.

He pointed out that the donation will boost the Ebola response in the country.

"We are very pleased to receive this. We want to say a very thank you to the US government for this gesture. It is important that everybody puts hands together for the response of Ebola," he stated.

Meanwhile, some of the donated items include: 13 cartoons and 50 pieces of disposable full flu shield, 22 cartoons of personal protector, 36 cartoons of respiratory mask, 27 cartoons of powder free examination glove, seven pairs of heavy duty glove and 100 pieces of digital thermometer.

The equipment donated are said to be in the range of US$30,000.

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