Heritage (Monrovia)

29 July 2014

Liberia: Ellen Declares Ebola Outbreak a National Emergency

President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf has declared the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the country a national emergency.

She has, accordingly, called on all Liberians to come together to fight the disease regardless of political, social, economic and religious persuasions.

She said she was declaring the Ebola outbreak a national emergency because of its deadly effects, adding "we must show a deep sense of nationalism".

The Liberian leader made the declaration Saturday in her message at programs marking the observance of Liberia's 167th Independence Anniversary held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.

The Liberian leader has meanwhile, constituted a National Task Force, headed by her to combat the Ebola outbreak.

The President said the National Task Force will be co-chaired by the Internal Affairs Minister, Morris Dukuly, in his capacity as head of the National Disaster Relief Commission, which, according to her, will be reactivated after months of inactivity.

In her capacity as head of the Task Force, President Sirleaf called on women organizations, the Inter-religious Council, market and Labour organizations, political party leaders, traditional leaders and the media advocacy group Press Union of Liberia (PUL) to designate representatives to serve on the taskforce.

She said the role of the National Task Force is to work with the country's health team to provide support and guidance to them.

According to President Sirleaf, the Task Force will also establish community outreach force that will mobilize individuals from the communities to reach out to residents and sensitize them on the disease by providing them information as to how they can protect themselves.

The Liberian leader urged Liberians to go across borders and join their brothers and sisters of neighboring countries affected by the virus; pointing out "the hallmark and success of any nation is not in the social and economic infrastructures polices and laws, but it is the love we have for our country and others."

She expressed regret for the death of all of the health workers who lost their lives as they lost their lives while providing service to their country and humanity and called on all Liberians to follow the advice of health authorities and workers so as to make the fight against this deadly disease easier.

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