The New Dawn (Monrovia)

31 July 2014

Liberia: Health Ministry Wants U.S.$14 Million

Despite the US$5 million provided by the Liberian Government for the current Ebola fight, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare here says it desperately needs US$14 million to fight virus.

Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah, says the ministry has designed new methods, which requires US$14 million to put forth a strong fight against the deadly virus.

Speaking to The NewDawn in front of the Justice Ministry in Monrovia, Minister Nyenswah said, the funds will be used to establish various centers that will trace suspected victims of the virus, which will help to curtail the uncontrollable spread of the Ebola Virus across the country.

"Though, we did not receive the US$1.5 million requested from government to fight the virus, but we have designed new programs, which are better to minimize the spread if not getting it off our back, and that will cost us US$14 million for the period it will be here for," he said.

According to him, the US$1.5 million was projected with the understanding that the virus had not spread in such a manner that it is today, but with counties being part infested terrain, the government needs more resources to combat the virus.

He explained that two American medical practitioners, who were helping at the Eternal Love Winning African or ELWA Hospital have been infested with the Ebola virus, noting that the charity Samaritan's Pulse, which has been helping with the fight, is considering to leaving the country.

"With news that other nationals are dying only to save Liberians, it means that lot needs to be done to stop the spread," he told The NewDawn.

On July 10, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare forwarded a budget of US$1.5 million to the Finance Ministry for the ongoing fight against the deadly Ebola virus. According to the budget's fact sheet, the money is expected to be used to purchase protective gargets for health workers and medications for patients.

On July 27, 2014, one of Liberia's high-profile doctors died of Ebola and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers trying to combat an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa -- the largest ever recorded.

A second American, a missionary working in the Liberian capital, was also taken ill and was being treated in isolation, said the pastor of a North Carolina church that sponsored her work.

Dr. Samuel Brisbane, a top Liberian doctor, was treating Ebola patients at the country's largest hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia, when he fell ill. He died Saturday, according to assistant minister Tolbert Nyenswah. A Ugandan doctor had died earlier.

The American physician, 33-year-old Dr. Kent Brantly, was in Liberia helping to respond to the outbreak that has killed 129 people nationwide when he fell ill, according to the North Carolina-based medical charity, Samaritan's Purse.

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