Monrovia — Former Nimba County Superintendent Edith Gongole-Weh has called on the government of Liberia to move a step forward by increasing the salaries of health workers who are the first responders in the fight against COVID-19in the country.
According to Liberia's health authorities, the country has recorded 14 confirmed cases, three deaths while three others have recovered.
With the alarming number of affected patients reported daily, Madame Gongole-Weh said at this point of the pandemic, the government must provide attractive salaries for the country's healthcare workers as they embark on this fight.
"Today, where we have a situation, that absolutely there is no country that is exempt from this global pandemic, so for Liberia where we are as a country, I think the government has taken some steps but they need to do more" Madame Gongloe-Weh said.
"The aspect of education, creating awareness is continuing and I like the collaboration between the government and private sector including civil society organizations but the government needs to begin to prioritize the health sector that will create a more dependable sector that will fight this virus to the very end."
The Nimba County former Superintendent furthered that the involvement of the civil society, humanitarian groups including NGOs and the health sector is laudable, but added that more emphasis must be placed on the healthcare workers who are at the frontlines in this fight against the further spread of the disease.
"The fact that we are reporting increase number of cases for me is very scaring; I think the government needs to prioritize healthcare workers that are not on salaries and others who are earning low wages by making an increment to enable them have vested interest in performing their duties," Madame Gongloe-Weh asserted.
According to the presumptive Nimba County Senatorial candidate, if those healthcare practitioners who are incentive workers and others who are not on salaries are not given priority by the government, they will see no compelling reason or motivation to risks their lives.
Madame Gongloe-Weh mentioned that the government should not wait for the virus to spread widely across the country before thinking about the healthcare workers who have and continued to risk their lives at this point in time.
Meanwhile, she encouraged every Liberian to follow all of the protocols set aside by health authorities and stop living in denial of the existence of the virus in Liberia in order to save lives.
"And I have said to my people in Nimba and Liberia to stop doubting and that if they do not follow all of the protocols, we are all at risks," she said.
She's worried that if great countries around the world are suffering the shock of the outbreak what much more about Liberia - a country with a struggling and near broken health system.
Madame Gongole-Weh also said people of Nimba County are on their alert and are responding to the measure put in place by the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia although the northern county is yet to report any case of the coronavirus.
She praised them for the sheer level of adherence to the health protocols and encouraged them to respectfully reject anyone coming into the county through any of the illegal border points.
"The people of my county (Nimba) have taken the initiative to stop public gathering, disallow strangers coming to their towns and villages through any of the porous borders and at the same time washing their hands on a daily basis to prevent the virus from entering Nimba, one of the counties that was high hit by the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus back in 2014 and 2015," Madame Edith Gongole-Weh said.