Authorities at the Liberia National Red Cross or LNRC have disclosed that about 995 Ebola survivors in Monrovia have received cash benefit from the ELWA Centers Two and Three treatment units.
The Red Cross detailed that the 995 survivors were patients, who were tested and confirmed positive of the virus.
According to the LNRC, each of the survivors received US$200 to augment their daily sustenance in their respective homes and communities, adding that the decision to give out the cash to survivors is to buttress government’s effort in eradicating Ebola from the country.
Speaking over the weekend at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism’s daily press briefings, the Secretary General for the Liberia National Red Cross Society, Fayiah Tamba, said the Red Cross has providing support to the Government through health care facilities to institutions, including the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital with 350 women benefiting from safe internal consultation, and the opening of the hospital’s maternity ward.
He said the Red Cross movement also provided medical supply to 16 prisons, including hands washing buckets, among others with the supply of complementary food and micronutrient ration every month for detainees.
Meanwhile, the LNRC has launched an anti-stigma song in solidarity with people, who are suspected of contracting the Ebola virus from others or people, who have survived from the virus and continued to face stigmatization in their various communities.
The song, entitled “Let US Live Together Again” was produced by the musician union of Liberia to promote the reintegration process of Ebola survivors with support from the Red Cross.
Speaking at the launch of the song, Mr. Tamba explained that it is critical that survivors are shown care and respect as they return to their various homes and communities, saying, “as we gradually win the battle against the deadly Ebola virus, we can see the issue of stigmatization is what is left behind; people still feel that they should keep a distance from those, who have survived from the virus.”
According to him, the message and rhythm of the song remind every Liberian that Ebola survivors are people that are related to fellow Liberians, saying, “our colleagues and our neighbors, they still need our care, and there is need to encourage them into their homes and communities because they are harmless; once we treat everyone with dignity, we shall end Ebola in Africa.”
The Red Cross Secretary General urged all Liberians to ensure that Ebola survivors are treated with respect, something he said, that will put an end to their suffering.
He said since the beginning of the outbreak, the Red Cross movement have been fighting through social mobilization, contact tracing, safe and dignified burials, psychosocial support, restoration of health services and cash assistance for Ebola survivors.
Mr. Tamba denied speculation about the Red Cross departure from Liberia, saying, at no point in time the Red Cross had such decision, and if there should be any departure it would do so in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Monrovia.
By Lewis S. Teh