10 July 2014

Liberia: Indeed, a Comprehensive Report Is Needed


We support a call by Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe for authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) to account for the US$250,000, which was given to the ministry by the Government of Liberia (GOL) to purchase protective gears to help fight the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the country.

We think the call by Senator Nagbe is timely and prudent because it is in the interest of the public whom the government is serving.

When a comprehensive report is given about how this money was expended, we believe, it will help pave the way for the provision of additional money from the government, including our partners to tackle the deadly disease.

The money in question, we are told, was given to the ministry following the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country.

The Ebola virus, which has no cure, has claimed several precious lives and could claim more lives if there is no intensive efforts to combat it.

Senator Nagbe's call for the money to be accounted for was necessitated by a report made by the Senate Committee on Health Chairman, Senator Peter Coleman in which it was requested that the amount of US$1.5M is needed to prevent the disease from spreading throughout the country.

The report, which was made before the plenary of the senate-the highest decision making body of that august body, mentioned that about 10 out of 12 nurses, including a Ugandan medical doctor affected with the Ebola virus in the country have died.

But the Sinoe County senator contends that the deaths of the health workers and the Ugandan medical doctor raises suspicion regarding the proper use of the US$250,000 given to buy the protective gears for health workers in the country.

He wonders why the US$250,000 could not be used to buy sufficient protective devices that those health workers would die.

The Sinoe County senator says the provision of additional money for Ebola must be contingent on a comprehensive report about how the US$250,000 was used.

Senator Nagbe's concern is genuine- in as much as the fight against the Ebola virus is a case of urgency, money given must be used for the intended purpose.

We encourage authorities of the Ministry of Health& Social Welfare to provide the requested comprehensive report on the use of the US$250,000 to the public via the Legislature for the sake of transparency.

By doing so, we also believe it will put to rest deep suspicion that the money was not properly used for its intended purpose. We hope that authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfarewill heed the lawmaker's call for the good of our country-our common denominator.

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