The Inquirer (Monrovia)

11 July 2014

Liberia: Widen the Ebola Awareness

editorial

REPORTS GATHERED IN Monrovia say the Redemption Hospital located in New Kru Town which caters to hundreds of people is practically abandoned by hospital employees for fear of contracting the deadly Ebola disease, which is alleged to have killed a nurse at the hospital recently.

BUT THE HOSPITAL'S general administrator told this paper yesterday that the information being spread through the media that the hospital is closed is false and that the health workers, doctors, and nurses are still committed to serving patients at all times.

DR. DOMINIC RENNIE however disclosed that more patients are refusing to go to the hospital and seek medical treatment because of the news about the Ebola outbreak; admitting that last month one of the nurses fell prey to the deadly disease.

ALREADY, ACCORDING TO him, some people who blame the management of the hospital took away their patients and that it is only few patients who are seeking medical attention from the hospital while the majority of the patients have refused to go for medical treatment.

MEANWHILE, THE PRESIDENT of the National Physician Assistant Association of Liberia, Jerry Kollie, said in a local radio program that members of the Association are prepared and willing to work, but that their fear too is the lack of protection.

WHILE IT IS true that people are not taking advantage of the medical centers to seek medical attention despite the ongoing awareness it is also noticed that health workers are refusing to attend to patients who are suspected of carrying the Ebola virus and our concern is drawn also to the wellbeing of the essential health workers.

WE ARE ALL aware that the Ebola disease has no boundary like the HIV and AIDS and that the Ebola has no hands-on medication therefore in order to encounter and contain a patient who is down with such disease, the health workers must be sure that they too will not die saving lives.

MORE PEOPLE ARE said to have died from this disease already and many more people are being quarantined due to the 21-day observation period even if the sickness is not Ebola but carries symptoms of Ebola; this is troubling and that is why the awareness must be broadened.

WE URGE THOSE in authority to widen the awareness campaign through any and every means thought of because this disease is seriously affecting families and to date, statistics show that it is affecting mostly breadwinners of families thus wiping out a generation of that family line because when a nurse or doctor who has gone to work dies from saving a live, that entire family's livelihood sets in limbo.

WHILE STRESSING THE need for greater awareness, we wish to commend all those including the Government and People of the United States and the latest contribution from the Federal Republic of Nigeria for continuing to identify with this country in its fight against the Ebola disease. At the same time, we urge those receiving these donated items and funds to ensure proper accountability.

AGAIN, WE CALL on the government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its partners to amplify the awareness campaign and distribute protective gadgets provided by international partners evenly as well as discover best strategies that would strengthen the ongoing awareness campaign thereby making it a reality to the Liberian custom.

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