The New Dawn (Monrovia)

28 July 2014

Liberia: Placing High Concentration On Medical Practitioners

editorial

The number of Ebola-related deaths and victims throughout the counties of Liberia continues to swear day-by-day, as the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of health and Social Welfare and partners continue to exert efforts against the deadly disease. Since the outbreak rapid spread of the Ebola virus for the second time the Ministry has reported more 105, with about 50 deaths up to present, while more than 180 cases, about 70 of which have been confirmed throughout the country.

Even though ordinary Liberians and patients continue to be hard-hit by the deadly disease, Doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners have become primary and immediate targets of Ebola is of the virus. A number of them have been confirmed dead by the Health Ministry, while others infected are currently been quarantined at a few centers in Monrovia and a few other areas.

Many of these cases among medical practitioners are reportedly due to the lack of protective gears and other incentives. Health workers, including nurses continue to complain of either the lack of gloves, masks and coats or very limited supplies of these gears at the various public hospitals, health centers and clinic across the country, especially in the seven counties now hit by the disease. Unfortunately, as the result of the foregoing some of these medical facilities either have a few doctors and nurses or deserted for fear of being infected, leaving ordinary patients and suspected Ebola patients vulnerable to death.

While nurses and doctors may be under oath to serve humanity, as human beings and professionals, they too must be healthy and well to serve. Such state of their health must also be characterized by the provision of all of the necessary protective gears and incentives. In the absence of these, especially in these trying times of our nation's history, concern for their personal safety is of paramount importance as they perform under oath.

It is in view of the foregoing that the urgent attention of the Government of Liberia and local and international partners must be drawn to the well-being of doctors, nurses and other health workers in this state of affairs in our country. While there may be challenges and other constraints in such national emergency, high concentration must now be placed on medical practitioners if the fight against the deadly Ebola virus must succeed.

Toward this direction, all of the necessary protective gears and incentives must not only be made available, but timely as a matter of emergency to all health workers, including nurses and doctors on the field against Ebola. Despite the passion that continues to drive them to serving humanity, they must be equally protected as they deal with patients, including those suspected of being infected with Ebola.

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