12 August 2014

Liberia: China Donates One Million U.S. Worth of Gears, Medicines to Fight Ebola

Monrovia — The government of the People's Republic of China has donated over US$1 Million worth of equipment needed to fight the deadly Ebola virus.

Receiving the donation on Monday evening at the Robert's International Airport, national coordinator of the national task force on Ebola, Mr. James Dorbor Jallah said the consignment was a relief to the Liberian government.

He said other friendly government and international aid agencies should emulate the good example of the Chinese government because Liberia is in dire straits and would appreciate all the help it can get.

"We need quite a lot; we want to appeal to the international community to follow the lead of the Chinese government," he said.

"We need far more than we are receiving but this is something that we are very grateful for because we had nothing and we've been fighting this disease with bare hands owing to why so many of our health workers have been lost to this fight and so many of them are in hospital."

"We want to appeal to the international community that our people are dying left right and center and the disease is spreading very fast in congested communities. This has gotten out of hands, it's now spread across the sub-region, it has become a global crisis."

Mr. Jallah said the consignment which consists of about 10,000 PPEs, drugs and other medical equipment will help save lives and bring health workers back to work.

"We also expect that a number of patients will receive improved care because they also brought medicines and other chemicals to help with prevention and spread; so patients will benefit, communities will benefit, as well as health workers will benefit.

They are bringing a high number; I think about 10,000 pieces of the PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), which the health workers have been lacking; which is the primary reason why there has been so much spread of this virus among health workers," he said.

He said the donation from the Chinese government is the first large consignment of supplies and other material to fight this deadly virus Ebola that Liberia has received so far. "The Chinese government has been so very kind to the government and people of our country," said Dorbor.

He said the task force has been working out the logistics to be able to able to get the supplies and make sure that they arrive in the places that they are needed the most. He said the distribution of the items would be almost immediate because many health facilities are in need of such equipment to be able to stay protected.

"We are starting the distribution tomorrow; we're going to spend all night repackaging in accordance with the distribution plan of the ministry of health and then by dawn tomorrow, we will begin to disseminate these resources to the designated clinics and health facilities across the country," he said.

"We would like to mention that we've gotten the cooperation of UNMIL, they've donated some vehicles of the World Food Program and even some government agencies have given some of their vehicles to help in the distribution process."

In a meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Saturday, health workers expressed serious concerns over the lack of PPE at various health facilities leading to their closure and nurses abandoning work.

"Madam President you are aware that across the nation, all health facilities (hospitals, clinics) have closed down. Many times we hear that health workers are running away, it is really true that we are running away, or we are afraid to fight the battle; for we are under oath to serve our nation, to save the lives of our people, but under that oath, we must save ourselves first and foremost, so that we are able to save the lives of others," said George K. Williams, secretary-General of the national health workers association of Liberia.

"If you were to go into the isolation centers right now, you will see the number of our colleagues (health workers), lying in isolation centers or dead from the infectious Ebola virus." With the arrival of the Chinese consignment, the Liberian health sector will see a boost in its capability to respond to the outbreak and save more lives.

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